Ibadan, Nigeria, West Africa

The Analytical Services Laboratory provides services in soil, plant, and water analyses for research programs in Ibadan. The laboratory also provides services to AfricaRice, ILRI, and collaborating partners and universities. It also provides on-the-job training in soil and plant analyses for national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) on demand.

The soil parameters analyzed include soil pH, exchangeable cations, total nitrogen, mineral nitrogen, soil micronutrients, Bray phosphorus, Olsen phosphorus, exchangeable aluminum, cation exchange capacity and soil texture. Plant analyses include proteins, fat, macronutrients and micronutrients. Water assays include pH, electrical conductivity, hardness, nitrate, ammonium, phosphate, minerals and heavy metals.

The Analytical Services Laboratory runs and maintains an industrial demineralizer unit that provides deionized water for all research programs. It has a central soil and plant sample preparation facility.

The laboratory assists the IITA Purchasing Unit in monitoring the quality of fertilizers and chemicals purchased from local sources. In addition, it assists in the collection and disposal of chemical wastes from the other laboratories and the medical clinic. This is done in collaboration with Basel Convention Center and University of Ibadan through the IITA Safety Committee.

Yaounde, Cameroon, Central Africa

The Analytical Laboratory in Yaounde, Cameroon, conducts routine soil, water, and plant nutrient characterization and fertilizer element content analysis. It also assesses the micronutrient and macronutrient content in fresh and processed cassava, yam, and banana and plantain genotypes from research trials as well as determines the chlorophyll and carotenoids content of leaf samples. The lab will soon expand into cyanide and food contaminant, such as aflatoxins and pesticide residue analysis. It supplies deionized water to other partners and collaborators and has a focus on capacity building through training technicians at both a national and international levels.

The lab is also key to IITA’s climate change mandate. It has state-of-the-art equipment for measuring greenhouse gas emissions from forests, degraded forests, and different agricultural landscapes. This equipment assesses the environmental impacts of different land uses in the Congo Basin and helps to quantify the effects of deforestation on greenhouse gas emissions and consequently on climate change.