African Scientists visit Ankur Seeds, Nagpur

Government Officials, Cotton Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Seed Producers, Academicians from Africa, visited the Ankur Seeds R&D Facilities as a part of an International Training Programme on ‘Modern Cotton Production Technology’ under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India. These 32 Master Trainers from six African countries are participating in the training programme under the 2nd Africa India Forum Summit, being conducted during Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 2012 at CICR, Nagpur.

Dr. Damilola Emmanuel Eniaiyeju, Deputy Director, Crop Production, Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria felt such visit could open new venues for collaborations to initiate technology transfer and capacity building in the cotton growing African nations.

Dr. Ashwin Kashikar, G.M., Ankur Seeds, Nagpur led the teams to the breeding support laboratories of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Virology, Cytology, Tissue Culture, Entomology, Pathology, etc. The participants also had a glimpse of the polyhouses located near the labs. The visitors told during lab visit that such high standard research facilities are very much required in African countries, and will be of immense help to accelerate overall crop productivity.

The visit to Ankur Seeds cotton fields was a delight to the scientists and technicians from Africa. Ms. Amoding Gladys, Cotton Breeder from Uganda informed that most of cotton cultivation in African countries is under rainfed conditions only, whereas Bt cotton is not allowed for growing in African nations. ‘The training programmes, including such ideal field visits makes them learn a lot from India’, she added. Dr.G.V.Umalkar, Executive President [R&D], Ankur Seeds took the lead and explained Indian cotton cultivation practices to the participants during the field visit.

Seed Processing Plant, Ankur Seeds, located at Waigaon near Wardha is well equipped with modern machineries of seed processing where the African delegates were led to the Plant tour by Mr. Vaibhav Kashikar, Executive Director, Ankur Seeds. The delegates were shown the real time seed processing till the stage of automated packing of the commercial seed packets. Mr. Fauba Padacke, Director General Adjoint, Cotton Production, Chad [Africa], said that the African countries do not have such seed processing industries and so, not much of seed production takes place in these countries. Professional training for African agriculturists in cotton cultivation and processing is the need of the hour, he narrated.

On behalf of all the participants from Africa, Dr. Damilola Emmanuel Eniaiyeju, Dy. Director, Crop Production, Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria expressed thanks and gratitude to Shri M. G. Shembekar, Managing Director, Ankur Seeds, Nagpur for kind hospitality rendered by him and his team.