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Dr. Mahamadou Salifou

I was born in 1976 at Nai (eastern part of Niger) but my parents are from west of Niger. I am the seventh child of my father who had two wives. My senior brother from my mother (the younger wife) and I were the only ones who attended school in my family and I am the only one who made it through school. I grew up in my parentsvillage Latchiwa (Tahoua) where I started my primary school in 1981. Three years later I was transferred back to the eastern part of Niger where I continued my primary school education at Kouloudjia (Goudoumaria). I obtained my primary school certificate in 1987. I did my secondary school from 1987 to 1991 at college of Maine-Soroa where I obtained myBrevet. Then I was admitted to the Lycee of Diffa where I obtained my Baccalaureates sciences D in 1995. After thatI was admitted to theAbdou Moumouni University of Niamey from 1996 to 1998 where I obtained my DUES I and DUES II. Then I continued my studies in the University of Cocody at Abidjan (Cote d Ivoire) from 1999 to 2004 where I obtained my MSc. in Plant Ecology. I am married with a daughter. My father was a farmer and this made me develop interest in field crops. Having studied Agriculture and Biology at school my love for crops became stronger. It has so much convinced me that God has assimilated this present life to what happens in the field:This present life is only like water which we send down from the clouds so that the luxuriant herbage sustaining man and beast may grow; until when the earth puts on its lovely garment and becomes adornedand its people think that they are its mastersdown comes our scourge upon itby night or in broad daylaying it wasteas though it has not blossomed yesterday Qur anChapter 10Verse 24. I was working with the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Niger (INRAN) at Cowpea gene bank when I applied for the WACCI programme. Cowpea is a very important crop in the Agricultural sector of Niger. It serves as a source of protein for 80% of the population. Niger is the second largest producer of cowpea in the world but this production is constantly low due to pests (Striga) and diseases attack. My goal is to develop locally-adapted Striga resistant Cowpea varieties with farmer- preferred traits. I trustafter completion of WACCI ProgrammeI will contribute significantly to Cowpea production as well as food security in Niger.