Microveg Project is a Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) sponsored project in West Africa. It is a $5 million Canadian Dollars project involving five universities from West Africa and North America: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, Osun State University, Nigeria, University of Parakou, Benin, University of Manitoba, Canada and University of Saskatchewan, Canada. This project aims to advance sustainable production and utilization of Under-Utilized Indigenous Vegetables (UIVs) with minimal use of synthetic fertilizer termed fertilizer micro-dosing in West African region. Currently, there are over 37,000 farmers who are direct beneficiaries of Microveg Project in Nigeria and Benin Republic.
In Nigeria, more than 1,000 farmers increase their yield and income by using improved farming practices to grow UIVs. These improved farming practices were developed during the field research carried out in Southwestern Nigeria. In Benin, fertilizer micro-dosing and rainwater harvesting techniques also helped more than 10 thousand farmers achieved equally beneficial results with other crops despite degraded soil. The teams of Nigerian, Beninese and Canadian researchers are now combining these two innovations to bring the farmers’ practices to 50 thousand farmers. The recommended farming techniques will be spread through demonstration trials, outreach efforts, supports and training for seed producers and marketers, by establishing local committees to address issues such as productivity and marketing. Support to indigenous vegetable farming and processing business will increase demand and improved income of 1,000,000 (one million) West African farmers. The lead research partners include Obafemi Awolowo University led by Professor Durodoluwa Oyedele, University of Osun, University of Parakou, Benin; University of Saskatchewan and University of Manitoba both in Canada. This project is among the four international projects that have been collectively awarded $17,000,000 (17 Million Dollars) International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. They are part of an effort to scale up the most promising research supported under IDRC- Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF). The CIFSRF is a program IDRC, Canada undertaking with the financial support of the government of Canadian provided through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada. The fund support research to increase food security in developing Countries while fostering collaboration between developing countries researchers and Canadian experts.