N2Africa West Africa hub holds laboratory training in rhizobiology skills

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The N2Africa West Africa Hub recently held a two-week training course on basic rhizobiology skills at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.

The programme was designed for laboratory technicians and postgraduate students that are involved in activities of the N2Africa project to enhance their knowledge and skills in the isolation, identification, characterisation and storage of rhizobia, as well as mobilising these organisms for inoculant production and inoculation for enhanced nitrogen fixation.

Six participants (2 women and 4 men) from Ghana and Nigeria attended the training during which various discussions and material presentations were given by experts and practitioners in rhizobiology and biotechnology.

Training modules were designed to be a mix of theoretical, interactive and practical sessions, with trainees given hands-on training on various laboratory, greenhouse and field techniques.

Participants had discussions and exchanged experiences on issues regarding rhizobiology, inoculant production and quality control, laboratory-based PCR methods, and nitrogen fixation and quantification. Materials provided to participants included a training resource manual, PowerPoint presentations, relevant literature and sample technical papers on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) both in printed and electronic copies.

Mr Patrick Ofori, a trainee from Ghana, thanked on behalf of other participants the organisers of the course. He expressed satisfaction with the quality of training, saying the course had substantially enriched their knowledge and enhanced their skills in rhizobiology. He said the training was properly aligned with the skill set needed for project activities and was of the opinion that the workshop achieved its stated objectives and that they would be able to carry out the skills learnt during the course.

The closing ceremony was presided over by IITA’s Director of Tubers and Root Crops Improvement Programme, Dr Robert Asiedu, who represented the Deputy Director (R4D), Dr Paula Bramel. He commended N2Africa for organising the course and enjoined the beneficiaries to make good use of the skills learnt during the training. Certificates of attendance were presented to the trainees during the occasion.

Abdullahi Bala