Togolese Ambassador visits the James Hutton Institute


27th April 2015

Top-level academics from the University of Lomé in Togo and the Togolese Ambassador to the UK visited the James Hutton Institute’s Dundee site this week as part of a four day visit which also included Abertay University.

Kokou Yackoley Johnson, the Togolese Ambassador, along with Mme. A Kafui, Vice President, and Professor Gado, Dean Faculty of Sciences, both of the University of Lomé, were keen to learn more about the Institute’s with a view to exploring possible opportunities for mutual research in the areas of water security and environmental management. They met with Professor Bob Ferrier, James Hutton Institute’s Director of Research Impact, who introduced the Institute’s research on agriculture and the environment, and the context of its international activities in addressing the challenges of global food, water and energy security. Professor Ferrier highlighted the opportunities for training through the Hutton post-graduate school which uses the specialist research facilities and infrastructure available at the Institute.

The University of Lomé in Togo, a small country in South Western Africa, specialises in socio-economic, agricultural, environmental and urban water research, all topics close to the heart of both Abertay and James Hutton researchers. Togo’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research are keen for their largest University to broaden their agenda and forge links with traditionally non-French speaking institutes.

Dr Jonathan Snape, interim Managing Director of James Hutton Limited, the commercial subsidiary of the Institute, communicated the range and depth of the services available to businesses and explained the links between the two entities. “The Togolese visitors were particularly interested in learning about the commercialisation of science and how to generate income from land resources they own,” Dr Snape said. They were keen to explore opportunities for collaboration, in particular training for their staff in genetic techniques that could be applied to crops that are important to Togo.

After a tour of Hutton research facilities, discussions focused on areas of mutual research interest and a number of possible avenues for joint working. 

“While Scottish and Togolese agricultural foci and crops may appear very different, we all rely on the same natural assets of soil and water and, therefore, the same research principles apply,” Professor Ferrier said. The visitors and hosts are keen to further explore how they might work together in future to tackle universal and specific water and agriculture-related issues and look forward to many more meetings and conversations between our institutes.

Notes to editors:

The James Hutton Institute is is a world-leading, multi-site scientific organisation encompassing a distinctive range of integrated strengths in land, crop, waters, environmental and socio-economic science. It undertakes research for customers including the Scottish and UK Governments, the EU and other organisations worldwide. The institute has a staff of nearly 550 and 120 PhD students, and takes its name from the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment scientist, James Hutton, who is widely regarded as the founder of modern geology and who was also an experimental farmer and agronomist.

More information from: Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media and External Relations Coordinator, James Hutton Tel: 01224 395089 (direct line), 0844 928 5428 (switchboard) and 07791 193918 (mobile), email:

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