Olumide Alabi Alaba

My understanding of agriculture was more of the subsistence farming going on around in the neighborhood while I was growing up and the backyard farming that sometimes you wonder the output from such adventures. But my interest grew tremendously when I eventually went to the university to study crop science. I was born to Nigerian parent on 18th November1984 in Ekiti-StateNigeria. A fourth-born in the family of four boys and a girl.
I had my primary and secondary education within the state after which I proceeded to the Federal University of Technology AkureOndo-State where I obtained a Bachelor of Agricultural Technology in Crop and Pest Management in a five-year period. An attitude that success can be attained did give me a drive in my course of study that I eventually emerged as the best graduating student in my department with an award from the University. My graduation qualified me to dutifully serve the nation for the mandatory one year national youth service corps (NYSC). By virtue of news media and documentary thenI came to realize that hunger and poverty was a bane in the continentas a matter of facta fuel of violence in some sectswhich I think a green revolution could turn around in the continent.My early interest in biology related subjectmentorship from my course advisor and an exposure during my internship at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture further strengthened my resolution to pursue a higher degree in applied genetics and plant breeding. After my NYSCI proceeded to the University of Ibadan where I obtained a Master s degree in Applied Genetics. During this periodI joined Africa Rice CentreIbadan Station at IITA campus as a research fellow to carry out my Master s research on the genetic analysis of Rice interspecifics for yield components in a Single-Seed Descent population under development by the upland rice breeding program. Coupled with the experience gathered in breeding by staying back at Africa Rice Centre for some extra work after my M.Sc.I was on my toes applying to scholarships both within and outside the continent for a higher degree in plant breeding and genetics which eventually yielded results with an offer from African Union Commissionand then from Cornell University on the platform of Next Generation Cassava Breeding project. This opportunity was a dream come true as I will be trained in the field of plant breeding and to potentially become an ambassador of green revolution in the continent. I worked with the cassava breeding program of IITA before my admission into WACCI on the platform of the NextGen Scholarship of Cornell University. I hope to use this opportunity in contributing to the livelihood of African farmers and food security at large by application of scientific principles in raising cassava production bar through improved varieties being delivered at a reduced time frame. My research will focus on genomic selection in cassava Breedingand my acknowledgement to Cornell UniversityWACCI and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture for the full synergistic support of my being in this program.