Front-running agricultural scientist and researcher, Prof Chiedozie Egesi, has earned a Fellowship Award from the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN) for his long-standing contribution to science and technology for the improvement of food security.
Prof. Egesi was awarded for his unrelenting efforts in the development of bio-fortified foods for Nigeria, mentoring young scientists and driving the course of biotechnology in Nigeria, particularly in the cassava value chain.
The award was conferred on him at the BSN’s annual conference at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, on Monday.
The Erudite Scholar is the Project Director for the NextGen Cassava breeding project and works as a senior scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria.
He is also the immediate and first president of the Nigerian Plant Breeders Association (NPBA). Currently, he serves as a Director at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Umudike, Abia State and is a partner to key international bodies.
Prof. Egesi, in his capacity as Project Director for NextGen Cassava, has spearheaded efforts in the development of biotech tools for the delivery of improved cassava varieties, including pro-vitamin A cassava, for Nigerian farmers.
NextGen Cassava works to empower farmers in sub-Saharan Africa through innovative, sustainable cassava breeding. In 2020, the project helped develop and release five new cassava varieties in Nigeria.
The newly-developed cassava varieties provide smallholder farmers new disease-resistant options and with traits prized by consumers.
Meanwhile, the BSN has lauded Egesi’s achievement citing his prominent role in the deployment of biotech tools for the cassava and yam value chains.
“Over the years, your strong and robust commitment to the training of several students in agricultural biotechnology has borne much fruit for the country,” it added.
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