The Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) Research Project has held its first, in a series of three Workshops, focusing on “Molecular Screening of Tomatoes for Resistance to Wilt Pathogens”.

In his Opening Remark, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun stated that the purpose of the Workshop is to train a crop of Scientists and Extension Officers that will pass the training to others.

According to him, the multiplier effect of this train-the-trainers programme is bound to leave a lasting impact, which will outlive the project’s lifetime.

Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Chryss Onwuka, the Vice-Chancellor acknowledged the enabling environment created by the donor, UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), the Fund Administrator, British Council and the partner institutions –UNAAB and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.

He noted that through the DelPHE 5 project, two Ph.D students (a Nigerian and a Ghanian) had their research works anchored, while the Principal Investigator also had the opportunity, to acquire skills on molecular aspect of the project.

The Vice-Chancellor also congratulated the team members for keeping faith with the major objective of the project.

Earlier in his Opening Remarks, the Principal Investigator, DelPHE 5 Project, UNAAB, Dr. Akin Popoola disclosed that the programme is part of the activities of a DfiD-funded Project titled “Building Capacity In Agro-Biotechnology to Improve Tomato Yield In Wilt-Endemic Areas of Nigeria and Ghana”.

According to him, the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) has invested up to £3 million per year in the Development Partnerships in Higher Education Programme (DelPHE), stating that the overall goal is to enable higher education institutions (HEIs) to act as catalysts for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Dr. Popoola also said that the Project, which is a blend of research, training and extension is aimed at solving tomato wilt problem in Nigeria and Ghana through extensive information dissemination.