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Launching of the New Screenhouse at National Root Crops Research Institute at Umudike, Nigeria
January 17, 2018
The production of high quality, disease-free planting material or pre-basic seed is critical for assuring good yields of sweetpotato varieties. Under the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa, the sweetpotato program at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) at Umudike (Abia State Nigeria) has developed a business plan which seeks to make the production of pre-basic seed sustainable. This will be done by establishing links between the station and trained vine multipliers in different parts of Nigeria. To support this effort, the SASHA project supported the construction of a new screen house at NRCRI. The screenhouse is covered with high quality netting which prevents insects from infecting the pre-basic seed with viruses. Kolping Society, based in Umuahia, was commissioned to build the screenhouse. Dr. Jan Low, the SASHA project manager and a principal scientist with the International Potato Center, was present for the launch of the new screenhouse on 17th January 2018, alongside the Acting Executive Director of NRCRI , Professor Joseph Ukpabi, and the head of the the sweetpotato program, Dr. Jude Njoku. The launch followed a public lecture, with 95 attendees, given by Dr. Jan Low at Umudike entitled Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato Development and Promotion in sub-Saharan Africa and Implications for Nigeria.