Dr. Adama Mamadou Coulibaly

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I have no iota of doubt that the training at WACCI will prepare me adequately to serve the needs of Niger s groundnut producers. Born in Diffa in the Eastern region of Niger as the fourth of eight children Coulibaly is the only one who has had the privilege of a University education a privilege he seeks to make beneficial to his people. Coulibaly began his informal agricultural education when he was little with his father. This ignited his love for plants and the fields a love which diligently matured as he grew up. Today he holds a BSc. degree in Entomology from the National Agronomic Institute of Algiers Algeria and an MSc. degree in Phytopathology obtained at the Agronomic Sciences Faculty of the University of Gembloux in Belgium. Since 2007 he has worked as a Researcher at the Plant Protection Department of INRAN in Maradi where he made laudable contributions to the improvement of groundnut production. Groundnut is a legume of high importance in Niger on account of the scale of production and economic value. In 2007 the production of groundnut in the region of Maradi was compromised by a severe attack of aphids (Aphis cracivora) vector of the viral disease rosette. In an effort to help fight this menace Coulibaly developed and administered simple modules in plant protection with emphasis on the use of neem oil to protect against pests. The results were remarkable. However many other constraints including pests and diseases continue to undermine the yield of groundnut in Niger. Thus the need for qualified Plant Breeders with expertise in groundnut production is urgent. Coulibaly considers the AGRA-sponsored PhD Plant Breeding programme a timely intervention. He is exceptionally pleased with the opportunity to enroll at WACCI. The acquisition of new techniques in the genetic improvement of plants will enable him transfer genes of interest (resistance to rosette and aphids) into locally adapted improved varieties responsive to soil and climatic requirements of Niger. The success of this program will no doubt create a network of breeders in the West African region to facilitate collaboration and the sharing of information and ideas that can be used to develop new and improved crop varieties for the benefit of the people in West Africa and Africa as a whole.