By Adebiyi Adedapo
A soil scientist, Nkiruka Odoh, has discovered the use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF), a natural-occurring soil organism to enhance drought tolerance of yams in the face of climate change.
In her research findings, she noted that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi help yam to absorb more water and nutrients from the soil.
The University of Abuja lecturer noted that her research work assessed the contribution of moisture stress and AMF inoculation and their effects on drought-tolerance of yam (D. rotundata).
She revealed that moisture stress imposed at tuber initiation stage significantly resulted in the reduction of the growth factors particularly fresh and dry tuber weight.
According to Odoh, the research was carried out at the instance of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), a career-development programme for women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa.
The two-year fellowship is awarded annually to African Women in the field of agriculture through a highly competitive process.
In 2014, Odoh was among the 70 selected African agricultural women scientists out of 970 applications on a two-year fellowship awarded annually to African women.