Souleymane Abdou

Mr Souleymane Abdou was born in a small village of millet growers in the Sanam Districtlocal government area of FilingueNiger. As a childhe used to spend his day in the farm with his father during the rainy season.
Mr Abdou got his first degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa UniversityBauchiNigeria. After two years of National serviceshe obtained a scholarship from AGRA to do an MSc in plant breeding at the University of IbadanNigeria. He got his first experience in plant breeding at IITA where he is privileged to be groomed by an expert in cowpea breedingDr Christian Fatokun. During the MSche carried out his research work on resistance to aphids (Aphis craccivora) in cultivated and wild cowpea accessions. Fortunatelyjust a month after his graduationhe was recruited as a cowpea breeder at the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRAN) and appointed as the Ouallam research station head. Cowpea is an important source of foodcashprotein and fodder to small scale farmers of my countryhowever its yield is poor in Niger. The creation of improved varieties with farmer desired characteristics is therefore critical in improving the livelihood of resource poor farmers. Mr Abdou is willing to contribute in the achievement of this goalbut he needs further training in order to acquire the necessary skills. He believed that WACCI is the well indicated institution in training plant breeders in West Africaluckilyhe is sponsored by AGRA for the second time to pursue his doctoral studies there. For his PhD researchMr Abdou will be working of the adaptation of cowpea lines to phosphorus poor soil conditions with the aim of developing varieties that perform well on low P soils. This is because he believes that if we are to take into account the high cost of chemical fertilizersits unavailability and the poor income status of cowpea growersone of the most efficient ways of boosting cowpea production in subsaharan Africa in general and Niger in particular is to develop varieties adapted to low P soil conditions.