The 4th ARPM took place at Bolton White Hotels, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, from the 18th to 21st February 2020. The meeting was attended by 60 Scientists, Seed Entrepreneurs, Agribusiness consultants, and civil servants from Nigeria and Ghana.
The ARPM was officially opened with the keynote speech from the FMARD, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, who was represented by Mrs. Karima Babangida. The meeting also included a welcome address from Dr. Gbassey Tarawali, Head of IITA Abuja station and Outreach Coordinator, opening remarks from Dr. Robert Asiedu, Director of IITA West African Hub, and an opening speech from Mr. Lauren Good, the Senior Program Officer (SPO) of BMGF.
The project also received goodwill messages from Dr. Olusegun Ojo, Director General of National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Prof. Joseph Ukpabi, the Executive Director of NRCRI, Mr. Aboagye Ebenezer, the Deputy Director of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), and Dr. Saaka Buah, the Deputy Director of CSIR/SARI.
The review of project activities was conducted in thematic plenary sessions where all participants discussed the achievements and lessons learned from the implementation of activities in 2019, including:
- The project (researchers and seed entrepreneurs) needs to come up with best practices through production research to optimize commercial seed production through the utilization HRPTs.
- Seed companies in Nigeria and Ghana successfully established demonstration plots and showcased that IITA improved yam varieties outperformed local varieties.
- In Ghana, commercial yam farmers want quality seed tubers of local varieties Pona and Labrako.
- The project needs to strengthen and integrate the early generation seed activities between the public and private sectors.
- The establishment of an ideal seed yam system needs institutional and policy support to create an enabling environment for participants to thrive.
The ARPM concluded with the Launching of the new facilities for seed certification and quality assurance at NASC’s Headquarters in Sheda and Yam Day at IITA Abuja station.