Felix  Dakora
Felix Dapare Dakora
President, African Academy of Sciences

Professor Felix Dapare Dakora has contributed to building local capacities in the field of agriculture, thereby tacking the issue of food scarcity on the African continent.

Professor Felix D. Dakora has, in over twenty three years of postdoctoral research, studied the molecular ‘conversation’ between legumes and soil. More specifically, the fixation of biological nitrogen (N2) in legumes promised great results. Prof. Dakora showed an increase in grain yield through manipulating the amounts of biological nitrogen fixed in symbiotic legumes in cropping systems. This could prove to be quite promising in many parts of the African region, as his research shows that returns of crops increased by rates of 89% to 95%, an increase, attributed to the additional free biological nitrogen in plants.

More recently, his laboratory has developed superior legume genotypes with greater plant growth, high N2-fixing ability, enhanced pest resistance, and increased grain yield for use by African farmers. In addition to increased yield, he found that an increased ability of N2-fixing legumes to accumulate leaf protein and minerals, especially trace elements which are most needed for overcoming micronutrient deficiency in Africa, was a major spinoff.

Prof. Dakora’s studies on the effect of oxygen on nodule development and N2 fixation in cowpea and soybean plants have suggested that in the unlikely event of elevated O2levels in the atmosphere, nodulated legumes will still be able to grow, fix N2 and produce yield.

Not limited to the field, Professor Dakora is a supervising University academic who has overseen the graduation of 12 Honours, 10 Masters, 8 Doctoral and 2 Postdoctoral fellows since 1993, with several more currently being supervised in his laboratory. These students typically go on to find employment in other national universities, Departments of Agriculture, Departments of Science and Technology and Government departments, where they are making significant contribution to sustainable economic growth.

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