Twenty Nigerian women out of 70 have emerged winners of the 2015 African Women in Agriculture Research and Development, AWARD.
A total of 1,109 applicants applied to participate in the two-year career-development program for top women agricultural scientists.
Eleven countries where considered in the award with Nigeria leading with 20 winners, Kenya with 11 and Uganda with eight amongst others.
The winners will benefit from a two-year career-development program which is focused on accelerating agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills.
The nominations were granted on the basis of each scientist’s intellectual merit, leadership capacity, and the potential of her work to improve the livelihoods of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.
AWARD represents a wide range of agricultural disciplines and cutting-edge research—from evaluating aquatic pollution, climate smart agricultural practices, aflatoxin mitigation, capacity building and empowerment of rural women, to biotechnology.
List of Nigeria Winners
1. Ayojesutomi Solanke from Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology.
Research area: Improvement of safety and health consciousness of fisheries through outreach to increase productivity and awareness of sources of livelihood.
2. Mojisola Adegunwa from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Research area: Assessment and awareness of food safety knowledge, attitude and hygiene practices among food handlers, mainly women, in smallholder and medium food enterprises
3. Mosunmola LAdeleke from Federal University of Technology Akure.
Research area: Adoption of capture based aquaculture for maximum fish production and food security for livelihood diversification in the coastal communities of Ondo State, Nigeria
4. Oluwafunmilayo Adeleye from University of Ibadan.
Research area: Exploration of non-conventional carbohydrates as suitable feed energy sources, and development of resistant starch products as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters for safer poultry products.
5. Ronke Aderinboye from Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta.
Research area: Provision of year-round forage feeds for ruminants and improving efficiency of utilization of these resources, using additives in the diet
6. Mary Adewole from University of Ibadan.
Research area: Determination of the efficacy of Moringa oleiferaroot oil extract as a cowpea seed protectant against Callososbruchus maculatus to reduce annual crop losses.
7. Ngozi Edoh from National Root Crops Research Institute.
Research area: Genetic improvement of root and tuber crops while ensuring safety of biotechnology products extended to poor farmers.
8. Angela Obiageli Eni from Covenant University.
Research area: Increase cassava and yam tuber yields and quality through characterization of viruses infecting these crops, and development of appropriate diagnostics for certification of planting materials
9. Oluyemisi Fawole from University of Illorin.
Research area: Development of fungal inoculants from native soil micro flora to aid composting of agrowastes for improved soil productivity
10. Ibiola Ikotun from Nigerian Stored product Research Institute.
Research area: Improvement of women agro-processors’ income through proper processing of root tubers to produce better quality products with proper packaging and value addition
11. Catherine Nwokwu from Ebonyi State University.
Research area: Use of molecular marker systems to develop high yielding and drought tolerant rice varieties to ensure bumper harvests for smallholder farmers, even in the face of climate change.
12. Helen Ogunsuyi from Federal University of Technology Akure.
Research area: Utilization of sweet potato ethanol fuel as an alternative domestic energy source for rural women and low income earners to reduce dependence on firewood and charcoal
13. Ihuoma Okwuonu from National Root Crops Research Institute.
Research area: Application of biotechnology approaches to improve root and tuber crops for enhanced agricultural productivity and economic empowerment of rural farmers
14. Ifeoluwa Olutu from Fedral University of Agriculture Abeokuta.
Research area: Creation of a value chain for solid waste from cassava processing through use of the waste as substrate to cultivate edible mushrooms, and extend their shelf life using different natural preservation methods
15. Rachel Omodamira from National Root Crops Research Insitute.
Research area: New product development and utilization of edible by-products from orange-fleshed sweet potato, okara and maize in south-eastern and western Nigeria for improvement of vitamin A status of consumers.
16. Idayat Oyetoro from University of Ibadan.
Research area: Assessment of the efficacy of medicinal plants in wound healing for natural product research and development of alternate drug sources.
17. Ade Oyewole from Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi.
Research area: Upgrading indigenous technologies to develop herbal soaps and cosmetics, and the substitution of conventional raw materials with locally available underutilized/unknown options to empower communities with entrepreneurial skills.
18. Lauretta Bickersteth from Wavecrest College of Hospitality.
Research area: Development of energy efficient methods of facilitating the improvement of processing, preserving, and promoting supply of poultry products for food security, sustainable poultry management and improved livelihood of women smallholder poultry owners
19. Enoobong Udo, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
Research area: Determination of the physiological mechanisms responsible for maize plant tolerance of low soil nitrogen environments in Nigeria.
20. Juliana Ugwu from Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.
Research area: Development of an ecological and environment-friendly approach for the sustainable production of fruits and vegetables in Nigeria.