A support mission team from World Bank and the West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP), have embarked on a tour of innovative projects in some parts of Nigeria.
The West African Agricultural Productivity Programme is a World Bank funded project involving thirteen countries in the West African sub region aimed at boosting food security and is a ten years, two phase project.
The tour and inspection is aimed at accessing the level of progress made so far by WAAPP-Nigeria’s collaborative institutions and to get a feedback from projects’ handlers.
The two day tour started in Lagos with the inspection of Nobex Technology Company, a design and fabricator of agro allied food processing equipment, in Idimu Alimosho Local Government area of the state.
The Managing Director, Mr. Idowu Adeoya told the team that “we collaborated with WAAPP-Nigeria and the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria about two years ago on food drying technology, and when we collaborated with them. They took us to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to under study how they dry their fruit especially mangoes and pineapple and they exposed us to their technology.”
WAAPP-Nigeria also provided the company with a prototype of one of the machines to be used as a guide for their fabrications.
He said the company was working to meet the stipulated time frame.
“The MoU says we should do the job within one and half year, which is eighteen months. The eighteen months is going to last till June this year and the machine is almost 95% complete, so that’s what we have done so far.”
At the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) Lagos, the Director General, Dr. Gloria Elemo said the institute was collaborating with WAAPP-Nigeria in the aspect of training and entrepreneurship.
“FIIRO, which is the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, having the mandate of industrializing Nigeria through research and development of its natural resources in the areas of Agriculture and mineral resources, very much fitted into the programmes and objectives of WAAP, and we have been working together to make sure that these programmes are very effective and they work very well,” she said.
Dr Elemo explained that, “WAAPP gave us four major projects. One is capacity building and entrepreneurship. The issue of entrepreneurship cannot be over emphasized, not only in Nigeria but the whole of the West African sub regio. We must learn to add value to what we produce now, for us to be competitive internationally and also for us to grow industrially. That is why this programme is so important and critical to Africa.”
The World Bank implementation support mission team and the WAAPP-Nigeria team were also shown some samples of the project being carried out by the institute.
Some of such samples include cassava bread, car brake pads made out of agricultural waste such as coconut back, palm kernel back and mango powder.
This institute’s efforts to make seasonal foods and fruits available in the Nigerian market all year round, were also show cased.
The final stop for the World Bank implementation support mission team and the WAAP-Nigeria team in Lagos was the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, NIOMR in Victoria Island Lagos.
At the Institute for Oceanograph,y the Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Gbola Akande spoke on the collaboration with WAAPP and how it can boost fish and fish feed production in Nigeria.
Dr. Akande said Nigeria needed to start producing her own fish feed as all the fish feeds in the market right were all imported to the country and that NIOMR was working on a research on fish feed production in Nigeria as one of the collaborative projects with WAAPP-Nigeria
He said, “we need to make sure that cat fish is available all year round. The other one is that of the fish feed. Thank God we now have a vessel on ground and we used the money provided by WAAPP to fuel the vessel to go and catch the Lantern. The Lantern fish has been caught, fish feed has been produced from the lantern fish and we are now doing what we call feeding trial, to compare lantern fish meal to the important Danish fish feed.
He further stated that, “one of the biggest achievements of the Institute is production of the smoking kiln which is used to dry the fish for cat fish for the market and also the facts that new research shows that Nigeria can go into tuna and sardine production which can help Nigeria generate lots of foreign exchange as this particular species of fish is docile in our waters.”
At the end of the project site tour of WAAPP-Nigeria collaborative institutions, the World Bank WAAPP Supervisor Mr. Shehu Salau said the implementing institutions had done very well and that some of them had even gone beyond the call of duty.
“I think overall, the implementing institutions have done very well and some of them have even gone beyond the call of duty like we have seen in NIOMR.
They participated in some research and they have gone further in disseminating their findings to a wider community by attending conferences to disseminate because these are scientific information that are very useful coming out from a WAAPP supported project,” he said.
Mr. Shehu Salau further stated that he was very pleased with what he had seen, because the funding for WAAPP is very small when compared to other World Bank donor supported projects.
“They have worked within the MoU signed and overall, it is excellent,” he said.
The project site tour by the World Bank is a routine procedure aimed at monitoring all WAAPP sponsored projects.