The research visit is an annual programme of the International Association of Research Scholars and Fellows (IARSAF) where selected fellows travelled out of IITA Head Quarters in Ibadan and embark on a journey to a destination of interest for learning purpose. It was previously known as Geo tour but the current IARSAF executive introduced a research element into the programme and later renamed it Research visit.
This year 2018 edition of the programme, the current IARSAF executive decided to visit IITA station at the Republic of Benin and also use the opportunity to visit Songai farms at Port Novo also in the Republic of Benin. R4D which is the directorate that regulate the activities of IARSAF graciously approved the plan for this programme as far back as November 2017 and ever since then, the present IARSAF executives have been making efforts to ensure a hitch-free research visit.
We set out for the trip from our Ibadan station at exactly 8:15am on Wednesday 15th of August and we arrived at the Republic of Benin at exactly 3:40pm. Our first point of call was to visit Songai farms at Port Novo and we were warmly received by Ms Akole and Mr Gerard who was our tour guide. We departed Port Novo to hotel Paramundo in Calavi where room reservations was booked for us by the head of Logistic IITA Benin Station (Name) and arrived safely few minutes after 9pm and we safely passed the night.The second day Thursday 16th of August, 2018 we went to IITA Benin station where we were welcomed by the head of logistics and the station head. Thereafter we were handed over to Mr Kareem who took us round to each of the units in the station and we also had the opportunity to interact with Scientists and staffs in each unit of the station and we learnt a lot majorly about entomology as it relate with insect collection, preservations, economics importance, use of insect to control aquatic invasive weeds, current effort and results on fall army warm research, Biological and cultural approaches to insect pest management among all other skill acquired. We had interactions with research students at the station and exchanged ideas on our present research and how we can form synergy between the fellows at the Ibadan station and the Republic of Benin station and we believed the discussions was very fruitful. We left around 4:15pm and returned to our rooms for the night.
The third day Friday 17th of August, 2018 we also reported at the Benin station and from there we went to the research farms within the station including the fields of World Vegetable Centre. Due to logistics reason, we were advised to limit our farm visits to the farms within and nearby the research station. We also went to the University in Calavi region of Benin republic. Thereafter we went to the market and the beach and returned to our rooms.The fourth day Saturday 18th of August, 2018 we departed the hotel at about 7pm and returned safely to Nigeria and Ibadan station later in the day.
We want to use this opportunity to thank the R4D directorate Dr Mai-Guirri Saethre and Ms Mary Badejo for the support especially the financial commitments of transportation and lodgings, the West Africa Administration especially Ms Oyinlola for her support in terms of logistics and ensuring a hitch free trip, Dr Asiedu for giving us the necessary document to ease our movements in and out of Nigeria, the station head, head of logistics, Mr Kareem and the entire members of staff of IITA Benin station for the support while we were in Benin Republic, the transportation unit of FMS for providing comfortable bus and highly skilled drivers for transportation. We also appreciate everybody that made this year research visit a success.