Peter Aikpokpodion

University of Calabar

Professor of Plant Breeding, Molecular Genetics and Genetic Resources Management in the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology with research interest in plant breeding and cultivar development, application of molecular techniques in genetic resources (diversity) management and utilization, marker-assisted selection (MAS), physiological genetics, host plant-pathogen interaction, breeding for resistance and end-use quality considerations, reproductive biology, plant adaptation studies, climate-smart agriculture and participatory plant breeding. He obtained B.Sc. (Agric) Crop Science (1989), M.Sc. Agronomy in Crop Science (1998) and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding in the Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan in 2007. Before joining University of Calabar in 2010, he was a Chief Research Officer (Plant Breeding) at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria. With a strong background in research, industry linkages and knowledge driven policy development, he brings experience into teaching and post-graduate student research supervision. He has supervised and co-supervised three PhD and five MSc students. Dr. Aikpokpodion’s contributions to the cocoa industry include the development and official release of eight new cocoa hybrids (CRINTc1-8) now distributed to farmers in Nigeria and his unraveling of the genetic diversity of Nigeria’s cocoa field gene-banks and farm plantations. Dr. Aikpokpodion has managed several research projects and a recipient of scientific and industry awards including the USAID-administered Norman Borluag LEAP Fellowship 2006 and the 2014 Nigeria’s Cocoa Value Chain Team Player Award. Dr. Aikpokpodion also served as Technical Advisor & Team Leader, Cocoa Value Chain Development of the Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (2011 to 2015).

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Latest work with IntechOpen by Peter Aikpokpodion

Almost five million tonnes of cocoa produced annually drives the US$100 billion global chocolate industry. To sustain the industry, cacao planting materials (seeds and clones) have been successfully moved from the Amazon forests in America to the humid tropical forests of Africa, Asia, and Australia. In more than 150 years of commercial cacao cultivation, smallholder farmers that supply the bulk of cocoa beans still face several production constraints that impede their efficiency. Scientific technologies have therefore been deployed to remove these constraints by ensuring a continuous supply of good quality cocoa beans to meet growing global demand. This book provides insight into these scientific advances to address these current and emerging problems and to assure the sustainability of the global cocoa industry.

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