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Reflections From IsDB Scholarship Recipients

IsDB scholars present their views about the significance of IsDB fellowships in building their scientific career, personal growth and skill development as well as contributing in developing their countries and other IsDB member countries along with service-learning and volunteer activities.

Ahmad AbdulHameed , Professor of Ecology at Department of Biological sciences, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, PMB 0248 Bauchi, Nigeria

My 2010 IsDB postdoctoral fellowship has enhanced my research and teaching capabilities as I have learnt a lot of research techniques which I am now undertaking with my research and postgraduate students to enhance soil fertility in tropical Nigeria and develop crops that withstand low fertilizer and low water input.

I have identified with my research student two phenotypic cultivars of rice (FARO 44) that are mostly consumed in northern Nigeria. This was not identified before and is thus a breakthrough.

We have found that the uniquely phenotypic short variety that we identified had more resilience to low fertilizer. The good news here, is that the seeds of this phenotypic variety of FARO if multiplied could save Nigerian farmers and government millions of dollars in the purchase of fertilisers and would save the environment from pollution of soil. These are applicable to the neighboring African countries having basically similar agro -climatic conditions.

The development of rice cultivars with tolerance to low water and nutrients will sure enhance food security in IsDB member countries.

My IsDB post-doctoral research at the University of Aberdeen, UK has also metamorphosed into a research collaboration with my home University as several Nigerian students are now doing their Ph.D. research work there.

The other research which we have started is exploring mycorrhiza as potential soil fertilizers in the savanna ecosystem of Nigeria. This will not only help reduce the cost of agricultural production through the purchase of fertilizers but will enhance yield of food and cash crops and will reduce the impact of pollution ( eutrophication ) in aquatic ecosystems and its related problems.

Apart from research, I am a guest in both radio and television programmes in Bauchi state, Nigeria that tend to enlighten and educate people on climate change and how it affects agriculture, and general environmental issues and with the objective of empowering people on mitigation measures. I am also involve in community development such as advise on youth educational development and member of committee of parent teacher association.

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