Prof Shehu Garki Ado: VC, Al-Qalam University Katsina

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Prof Shehu Garki Ado (Wazirin Garki) is a distinguished abusite, seasoned agricultural expert, renowned academic, and consummate researcher of international repute. The Professor of Genetics and Plant Breeding is the current vice-chancellor of Al-Qalam University Katsina.

Born on 24th August 1957, at Garki, in Jigawa State, he attended Garki Primary School before proceeding to Government Secondary School, Rano where he finished with Division One at the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in 1975.

Prof Shehu Garki Ado with The (then) DG of NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami
Prof Shehu Garki Ado with The (then) DG of NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami during an official visit to the Agency’s Corporate Head Office, Abuja 2018. credit: NITDA

He also won various prizes including that of overall best student in Biology, Chemistry and Geography.

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Prof Shehu Garki Ado proceeded to the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and in October 1976, he was absorbed into the Faculty of Agriculture where he obtained a good bachelor’s degree in Agriculture in 1979.

His alma mater would not let him go and immediately after the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Lagos State, Professor Ado returned to take up an appointment with the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as Graduate Assistant in 1980.

In 1983, he obtained a Masters degree in Plant Breeding from the same University and PHD in 1991. He attained the pinnacle of a distinguished career when in October 2001, he earned the enviable position of Professorship.

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Prof Shehu Garki Ado was a pioneer Director, College of Agriculture Hadeja, National Coordinator for Maize Research, former Head, Department of Plant Science, former Executive Director IAR, and former National Facilitator, Crops Intensification, National Programme For Food Security, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Abuja.

While serving as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof Ado co-ordinated the collaborative efforts which successfully implemented the pilot program for the commercialization of sweet sorghum as the world’s most promising feedstock for the sustainable production of fuel ethanol.

Leading a very strong team of Scientists, which includes such notable names as Prof S.B Tanimu, Prof Abba, and Dr. Yeye, they developed thirteen (13) sweet sorghum varieties, all of which were crossed with imported varieties to produce even better varieties that are disease resistant and containing more sugar and biomass for commercial production.

Prof Shehu Garki Ado was also the National Coordinator, Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Project. The renowned academic was appointed the Vice-Chancellor, Al-Qalam University, Katsina in 2013.

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He has attended several Agricultural related courses in Nigeria and overseas including:

  • 1995, Advanced Agro-technologies, Ben-Gurion University of Negev, Israel with an International Certificate
  • International Certificate in Applied Plant Breeding, Wageningen, Agricultural University, Netherlands.
  • International Certificate Course in Advance QPM Training Course, CIMMYT Mexico in 2002
  • International Certificate course in Biological Fertilizer Technology Baoding, Republic of China in 2003


Prof. Ado also obtained International Certificate on Farmer Participatory Methods for On-Farm Testing and Evaluation of Varieties, Kumasi, Ghana in 1998.

A seasoned agricultural expert, Prof Ado is a member of many Agricultural Societies; namely: Life member, Horticultural Society of Nigeria; member, Genetic Society of Nigeria since 1983; member, Forestry Association of Nigeria; member, Biotechnology Society of Nigeria 2005 amongst others.

Prof. Shehu Garki Ado was bestowed with the “ICON of Nation Building and Educational Development in Nigeria” award in 2016 by the West African Students Union Parliament (WASUP). The honor according to the body was given to the vice chancellor for his outstanding performance as a public servant.

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The University Don has more than two hundred scholarly publications to his credit. He holds the traditional title of Wazirin Garki from Garki in Jigawa State

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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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