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BUSINESSDAY, Monday 2S, May 2009

Companies & Markets NBCC for trade mission to the UK

REAL SECTOR

UTA to ship African seeds to global vault in June OlUYINKA ALAWODE

nlemational Ins titute orTropical Agriculture (1ITA ) will make its second 5h ipm fe nt of A fr ican seeds to thC' Svalbard Global Seed Vault, on the Norwegian island of Spitsberge n, in June. Dominique Dume!., head of lITA's Genetic Resources Centre, Ibadan , said in a s tatement that the move was to preserve the genetic resources or materials of African crops fo r future generations, disclosing that the fi rst shipment was on

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January 30, last year. Dumet noted that lITA made his tory as the first international agricultural ins titute to have shipped 21 boxes fiUed with 7, 000 unique s eed samples of importam crops from more than 36 African nations to the Vault. She also revealed lhal this yea rs sh ipment would involve about 5. 000 seed samples of soya bean, maiu. bambara nut. cowpea. and African yam bean. in more than 10 sud boxes. "The whole aim of the shipment to Svalbard is about conservation of

large variet ies of genetic maleriau for humanity," she

food security. To stem the loss of agro-biodiversity, the UTA Genetic Resources Centre has over the years conse rved more than 28, 000 a ccessions of li T A mandate c rops. The Centre houses lhe world's largest co llection of cowpea · a key s tapl e food in Africa , offering an inexpensive source of pro tein - with ove r I S, 000 unique varieties (rom 88 countrieS' around th e ",·orld . The Svalbard Seed Vault is a nother safety oct designed lo hold the same samples ofgenetic materials or resources.

disclosed. The move by IITA has become very essential as the~ have ~n warnings by various food organisations that certain African crops were on the brink of extinction. According to the United Nations Environment

Programme's (UNEP) 4th Globa l Environment

Outlook report. tht' ongoing 1055 of diversities of crops will restrict future

development options (or rich a nd poor countri es with negative impacts on

P

resident of NigerianBritish Cha mber of Commerce (NBCC), Akinola Akintunde. wiU lead about 25 members of the Chamber o n a week trade mission to the UK . beginmng Monday, May 29 to lune. During the mi ssion, the delegat es wil l visil and hold meetings with their cou nterparts in some C hambers of com m erce as well as atte n d the Opportunity Inves tment Conference & Exhibition at the Hilton Hotd, London _ According to Akintunde. the trade mission wW start with a courtesy visit to the

Nigeria High commissioner as well as the inauguration. of the NBCC-UK Network. The following day, Tuesday, delegates will travel to Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce for a pusentation on investment opportunities. visit local cou ncih / M Ps and grant interview_ On Wed n es day, the delegates will tra vel to Thames Vall ey C hamber of Commerce and return to London sa me day for the Opportunity Nigeria Investment Confere nce & Exh ibition, launching of NBCC UK - Network the next day.

SON council promises greater efficiency

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he recently inaugu r ated Governing Council of Standards Organisation of N igeria (SO N) has expressed its detemlination to position the o rganisation to be more efficient an(J effective in the discharge of its duties to Nigerians. This is to particularly c ombat the scourge of importation o f substandard and unwholesome goods into the country. The c hairman of the Counc il. Samuel OTt o m, di s closed the councd 's reso lve after its ma iden meeting held at the SON's Lagos operational office in Lekki, follOWing its recent inauguration by Minister of Commerce and Industry Achille Udenwa. According to him, SON will be strengthened as an organisation that will riot only cater for the well-being of Nigerians by ens udnt tha t o nl Y.l.bigh quality and certified·-produc ts are imported intet the countr)" but will aij9.. e nsure that SON is wdfpositioned to meet the target of taking the nation to higher standard through the certification of all locally manufactured products. "T he cou n cil will do eve r ything within its available resources to assist the organisation in its drive to rid the nation o f fake and s ub -standard goods and advised Nigerians, particularly those in the business of import i ng and manufacturing unwholesome products to look elsewhere, as there will be no hiding place any more," he promised. The Councils chairman also stated that corruption would not be condoned, ei ther from : staff or the larger SOCiety, adding that it would work dosdy witt} all relevant stakeho lders I ncluding the se c urity agen ~ ies to achieve the

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BUSINESSDAY, 25 May, 2009  

IITA to ship African seeds to global vault in June

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