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The Inaugural meeting of the Joint Management Committee of the North Central Zone Biotechnology Centre held on the 30th of May 2017 at University of Jos in Plateau State The Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic of the institution who inaugurated the committee commended IBB University as the first and only Institution that responded in writing to the invitation sent from Jos.

After the inauguration, the Director of the Centre, Prof T. Namo, welcomed participating institutions and as well gave brief history of the Centre and the essence of creating the committee, which was borne out of an MOU signed between the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology on behalf of the FGN and the University of Jos as the contracting parties in 2008 but could not take off up until the date of the meeting.

The host institution shared its experiences on innovative Agricultural practices with indigenous crops. Kogi State University Director of Academic Planning, Prof Friday Garba Ogbe, presented some details on KSU’s cashew venture and also on the current work in progress on malaria control vaccine. IBB University, Lapai representative Dr N. J. Dadi-Mamud shared the institution’s research and development’s projects on Minerals, Biogas, Smokeless fuel, Organic agriculture, Fisheries, Egg powder, Shelf life and Cashew juice processing and preservation. IBB University, Lapai and Kogi State University Anyigba discussed further on Cashew juice and agreed to harmonize so as to come up with a way forward especially on the reduction of alkaloids which affect the sweetness of aftermath in cashew fruit juice and best varieties of cashew fruits to deploy. Prof Emmanuel Ogbadoyi, Director of Global Institute for Bioexploration, represented FUT Minna and shared with the committee members, FUT Minna’s recent venture into nano and other molecular biotechnology processes. Other participating institutions also gave their experiences on crops and spices common to their areas and how far they had carried out research on these crops.

Proposed Actions
1. Work to put up multi-institutional proposals
2. Hosting of international conferences
3. Networking to improve research in the zone.
4. Work on crops that are unique to the zone for research projects.

Some of the varieties suggested by members for the zone to look at include: Cashew, Spices, Shea butter, Potatoes, Yam, Rice, Acha, etc.

Quarterly meeting
The Joint Management Committee quarterly meeting is slated for second week of the second month of each of the quarter, but the specific day will be communicated to members through the Director of the Centre from University of Jos.

Some resolutions were taken at the end of the meeting which will be given to members together with minutes of meeting in the next quarterly meeting.