Nigerian lecturer records research breakthrough in yam production

Dr. Ishaku Dantata of the Federal University of Gashua, Nigeria, made a revolutionary finding in agricultural research by successfully cultivating yam in Gashua utilizing an organically produced novel crop development product [ODNcpp].

Dantata’s performance, as an Associate Professor and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi-trained agronomist, calls into question long-held beliefs regarding the feasibility of yam farming in the region.

The breakthrough has received attention and commendation from specialists and the general public, including the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. (Mrs.) Maimuna Waziri, who was overjoyed and encouraged other researchers in the Faculty of Agriculture to follow Dantata’s lead.

Professor Bukar Hamidu Kabura of the Department of Crop Production, University of Maiduguri, lauded the achievement as an important step toward addressing food security and boosting livelihoods in Nigeria’s Sahel Savanna zone.

“Innovation in agriculture is crucial for sustainable development, and Dr. Dantata’s success with organic yam production in Gashua is a testament to the potential for positive change.

“This breakthrough could have far-reaching effects on local economies and contribute significantly to the region’s food security,” Kabura said

Professor Dauda B. Ishaya, Pioneer Director of Centre of Gum Arabic Research of FUGA tagged Dantata’s exploit as ‘another breaktrough in Federal University, Gashua’
Ishaya explained that it is another breakthrough in Crop Production at FUGA in addition to the Extra Early Maize (SAMMAZ 33) production that was successfully done by the Pioneer Director of Centre for Irrigation and Desertification Studies of the University, Prof. Dauda B. Ishaya in 2016.

He said the White Yam (Diascorea rotundata [Poir.]) by Dantata, who is the Head of Agronomy Department, during the raining season of 2023 and harvested on February 1, 2024 with extremely big tubers measuring up to 1.0 – 2.5kg per tuber, is clear evidence that yam farming/production is now possible in Gashua and surrounding environment, especially during the rainfed season.

“Therefore, farmers in the entire Yobe State especially northern Yobe are congratulated for this Good News and are encouraged to pick-up this challenge to start cultivating or growing yam for food security, higher income and improved livelihood or standard of living.,” Ishaya said.

Another scholar, Dr. Wadzani Dauda Palnam observed that experimental tubers from Gashua competes favourably in morphology and key nutritional properties with those extracted from other regions, such as Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states of Nigeria.

“This achievement marks a significant milestone in agricultural research, bringing hope to areas facing challenges in food production,” Palman opined.

In his remarks, Dantata explained that the breakthrough was the output from the experimental garden in Gashua exceeds expectations, demonstrating the immense potential of organic yam cultivation in this region.

“The experiment’s success opens new vistas of possibilities for addressing food security challenges and improving livelihoods of communities in the Sahelian environments worldwide,” he stated.

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