Published on 03/13/13

Nigerian delegation visits Tifton campus, south Georgia farms on tour

By Clint Thompson

A delegation of Nigerian scientists, on a nationwide agricultural tour, visited the UGA campus in Tifton, Ga., and other sites in south Georgia to learn how farmers benefit from research conducted by scientists in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“Spreading the UGA name globally is vitally important, since we all live in a global economy,” said Chris Chammoun, project manager at the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness. “It is also important for us at the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness to be globally connected since Georgia is a very large exporter of agricultural products. One of the best ways to establish and maintain international connections is by showcasing research by one of our nation’s premier agricultural institutions, the University of Georgia, and also showcasing some of our innovative agricultural producers.”

UGA researchers, including Joe West, assistant dean for the Tifton campus, horticulturist Greg Fonsah, animal and dairy scientist John Bernard and aquaculture researcher Gary Burtle, shared their work with the delegates over dinner on Tuesday. They discussed the role UGA’s research has in Georgia's agriculture industry, including the marketing of agricultural produce, livestock operations and fish farming.

“Our research, extension and public service work deal with helping people raise food and make money raising food,” Burtle said. “Some of the foreign countries, especially those in Africa, are interested in that. Their governments, right now, are interested in providing more food and more opportunities for their people.”

As part of the visit to Georgia, the Nigerian delegation also visited White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, the Decatur Fish Farm in Bainbridge and the Harvest Moon Market, also in Bainbridge.

“This delegation is in the U.S. to study, compare and share information on how farm families, communities, educational institutions, government and financial agencies have helped to position America as the largest global producer of agricultural commodities and foods, and to transfer as much technology and methodologies as will be relevant, adaptable and applicable to our agricultural system and climate,” said Bosede Oboh, leader of the Nigerian delegation, in a brochure profiling the delegation.

This was the second stop for the members of the delegation. They attended the U.S. National Farmers Union Convention in Springfield, Mass., earlier this month. Following the stop in Georgia, the group also traveled to Reno, Nev., as well as Fresno and Sacramento, Calif.

Clint Thompson is an agriculture writer based in Tifton, Georgia.

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