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Showing posts with label IITA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IITA. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2017

@50: IITA expands investment, launches 205.5 ha research farm

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has launched a new research station in Ago-Owu in Osun state, Nigeria, as part of efforts to expand its research agenda and create impact at farm level as part of IITA's 50th anniversary, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Ago-Owu research station, NaijaAgroNet gathered is located in Ayedade Local Government Area, Osun state, and will primarily serve as a research and training facility that will backstop the state’s agricultural programs and offer training support to the youth in the area in particular and Nigeria in general.

NaijaAgroNet recalled that in 2015, Governor Rauf Aregbesola donated a piece of land measuring about 205.5 hectares to IITA as he sought to bring research closer to the people of the state with a view to creating transformational change in the agricultural sector of the state. 

IITA accepted the offer with the signing of a memorandum of understanding and began investment on the land with the development of roads and other infrastructure.

Governor Aregbesola said he was glad the MoU with IITA moved beyond paper to implementation. He commended IITA for its research efforts in the last 50 years, adding that the research facility will advance research in Osun state with a spinoff effect on other parts of the country.

“We believe that this research facility will train and empower our youth in modern agriculture,” he said.

The inauguration of the research facility also allowed researchers to make presentations on new findings from cassava weed management, breeding, banana breeding and multiplication, cassava processing, and aflasafe—a technology for controlling aflatoxins among others. 

There was a presentation of improved seeds of maize, cowpea, soybean, yam, plantain seedlings, and cassava stems for onward distribution to farmers in Osun state. IITA also gave the governor some quantities of Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags which provide simple, low-cost method of reducing post-harvest cowpea losses due to insects’ infestations.

The Director General, IITA, Dr Nteranya Sanginga said, IITA was happy to work with and in Osun state.

“This research facility is part of our strategy to take research closer to the people. Our plan is to make this station a one-stop shop where farmers’ needs will be addressed,” he said.
Under the refreshed IITA strategy, IITA plans to lift 11 million people out of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 and to reclaim 7.5 million hectares of degraded land and put the land into sustainable use. Achieving this goal entails IITA expanding its partnership scope and strengthening old partnerships.

Dr Sanginga said the Ago-Owu research facility would primarily conduct research on cassava, maize, yam, soybean, banana/plantain and cowpea. “We will also be using the facility to train Nigerian youths in agribusiness,” he added.

The inauguration of Ago-Owo research station brings to six the number of such facilities in Nigeria. Others are located in Onne (Rivers State), Abuja, Mokwa (Niger state), Minjibir (Kano), and Ikene (Ogun State).

Dr Alfred Dixon, Director for Development and Delivery, IITA, said the inauguration of the research facility was a step in the right direction with the potential of bringing many benefits to the people of the state in particular, and the country in general.

He said the research facility would assist the state in accelerating its agricultural reform agenda whose particular focus is on increasing agricultural productivity and job creation.

Established in 1967, IITA is an international agricultural research institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, IITA improves livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. The Institute operates in Nigeria and 13 research stations/hubs across sub-Saharan Africa.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

IITA expert advocates youth connection to improved technology, agribusinesses

 NaijaAgroNet
The Project Leader, Cassava Weed Management Project, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Alfred Dixon, has advocated youth connection to a source of improved technology and access to information of good agricultural businesses, NaijaAgroNet reports.

“Youth engagement in agric can be in the production aspect like crop production, tuber production and cassava stem production. It can be in the post harvest aspect by adding value to what is already produced or the consumption aspects which come after harvesting, it involves handling and packaging, transportation, distribution, retailing, marketing and warehousing,” he said. 

Dixon said this recently while delivering keynote at the Covenant Capital, a division of Covenant Christian Centre on the agricultural sector which has the theme “SME Opportunities in Nigeria’s Agribusiness Value Chain.”

The event which took place at the church auditorium in Iganmu, Lagos witnessed other  experts who noted that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy is expected to double its current population by 2050 and that the future of the country’s economy is in the hands its teeming youth population.

They stressed that with the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, there is need for government to harness the potential in the agricultural sector by making it very attractive to the youths.

The Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Multi-Trex Integrated Foods Plc Oladimeji Owofemi said,  “In the logistic performance index Nigeria is ranked lower than South Africa which has a population of just 45 or 50 billion people. Government needs to provide good road infrastructure network to reduce production cost.”

While the CEO, X- Ray Farms, Afioluwa Mogaji, in his speech harped on the need for youths across the country to see the opportunities in the agricultural value chain because the opportunities are enormous.“With the massive opportunities in agriculture in the country, oil is supposed to be an alternative to agriculture,” he said.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE with additional report from Business Day

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Pix: Alfred Dixon

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Researchers target at agribusiness


Research activities in the agricultural sector over the last 12 months are majorly targeted at improving productivity of the sector as well as improving the lives of farmers, particularly the small holder farmers.
Just recently was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), to unleash the potential of agriculture and natural resources in Africa.
The MoU is to help in building the critical human capital to address present and future challenges like climate change, pest and disease of the agricultural sector. It will also look into the development of the sector while engaging the youths and giving them the needed tools to be fruitful.
The 2012 edition of Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) held in June in Uganda had over 300 global leading cassava researchers in attendance who discussed the ways to improve productivity of cassava with the use of scientific research and development approach.
As a body working on research and development of cassava crop, GCP21 has 45 member institutions conducting research about the crop.
NaijaAgroNet recalled that researchers at the GCP21 urge concerned stakeholders dialogue with farmers and other stakeholders using scientific and technical meetings that farmers can actually leverage on research and development for a better productivity.
Other issues discussed during the conference include seeking smart strategies, funding opportunities and catalyzing solutions to tackle technical challenges like cassava genomics, and bringing about a significant transformation in cassava in order to impact people’s lives, especially those that depend on the crop for survival.
On the other side, The Wellcome Trust late 2011 granted the sum of £500,000 about N128.044 million for a research on how humans influence domestic dogs.
The study which happens to be the largest studies into the relationship between man and dog looked into the way man breed, feed, train and socialize with dogs.
Also earlier in 2012, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) hosted a gathering of United Kingdom (UK) Parliamentarians and Civil Servants, African farmers, international donors and scientists which called for a reshape of agricultural research which would serve as developmental goals and work towards public good.
Items that topped the agenda of the gathering include plant breeding and seed selection, options for managing soil fertility, options for developing accessible markets, ways of governing, organising, funding and practising research.
The types of policies needed to transform Africa’s agriculture, comprising changes to tenure, subsidies and investment were also discussed.

Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Save Africa from hunger -IITA boss

Sanginga, IITA Director General

The Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga, has urged world leaders not to relent their efforts towards the fight against food insecurity in Africa.
Sanginga expressed the institution’s gratitude over the improvements recorded in agricultural productivity in the past affirming that there are still more to be done as regards food security in the continent.
He noted that efforts should be doubled due to the spiraling growth rate of the continent’s population and the degrading soil which does not work towards improving agricultural productivity.
IITA revealed to NaijaAgroNet that the Sub-Saharan Africa’s population growth rate is 2.4 per cent, a rate which is high compared to 1.3 per cent of non-African countries.
“Clearly there is much work to be done in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Dr. Sanginga emphasised that food security attainment is huge with increasing challenge and increase in total production which is at the expense of natural resource base.
According to the IITA boss, there is the need to adopt sustainable intensification of agricultural production practices to conserve and recycle soil nutrient which will in turn reduce the need to clear new land for agricultural use.
Approaches to concentrate on towards addressing the issue of food insecurity, Dr. Sanginga said should include increase in agricultural productivity, food availability and its safety.
He stressed that the agriculture sector’s overall performance must all be increased against the growing urban population, uncertain effects of climate change, increased in demand for energy as well as disease pandemics.
He also commended the renewed attention to agriculture by leaders in the continent which is producing positive results, and urged for more commitment of resources to the sector, and that IITA is always ready to partner with any organisation towards improving lives of Africans.
IITA, one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty has several awards for using research for development (R4D) in addressing the developmental needs of tropical countries, and had since inception worked with partners to improve crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture.


Yinka Awosanya
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Decisive actions needed for small scale farmers development-IITA boss

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Director General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga has affirmed the need for decisive actions to help small-scale farmers in order for food security in Africa not to remain elusive with isolated successes.
Speaking in Australia recently at the Crawford Fund annual conference, Dr. Sanginga said the assistance for the farmers should be to help them grow more valuable crops.
IITA revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that low soil fertility and nutrient depletion are obstacles to food security in the continent despite the achievement recorded in crop improvement.
A back up of the IITA boss about land depletion is a recent study by the institute conduction in Great Lakes region of East Africa which showed the majority of the soils in that region are now barren with very little fertility.
IITA attributed the barrenness of the soil to years of mining as well as insufficient replacement of nutrients by smallholder farmers.
Dr. Sanginga also advocated the adoption of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), the application of soil fertility management practices, and the knowledge to adapt these to local conditions.
The ISFM, he said would optimise fertilizer and organic resources use efficiency and crop productivity.
According to the Dr. Sanginga, the ISFM presents a means to overcome the dilemma of low productivity which is attainable by offering better returns for investment in fertilizer to farmers.

Yinka Awosanya

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

IITA boosts food security in Cameroon with cassava varieties



At the presentation of the cassava varieties
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in a bid to boost the agricultural sector in Cameroon on food security has unveiled improved cassava varieties.
IITA revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that five new improved cassava varieties were released to safeguard the lives of millions of Cameroonians.
These varieties namely with genotypes TMS 92/0326, TMS 96/1414, TMS 96/0023, TMS 92/0057, and TMS 92/0067, according to IITA were developed through conventional breeding by the institute and some other partners.
The improved varieties would improve nutritional values through the provision of caratenoids, iron and zinc as they have an estimated 20 tonnes to 35 tonnes per hectare.
Programme National de Development des Racines et Tubercules (PNDRT), the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), non-governmental organizations as well as local farmers partnered IITA on this project.
According to the IITA Director General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, who was quoted as saying that the varieties would help close the yield gaps while improving yield and increasing farmers' revenue especially those that rely on cassava for livelihood.
"IITA will continue to support farmers in Cameroon by offering improved varieties and technologies that address the constraints to development in tropical nations," the IITA boss said.
Cameroonian Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Essimi Menye commended the efforts of IITA in developing these varieties, adding that the new they would assist the nation to take advantage of the opportunities of the crop which is one of the major staples in Cameroon.
As said by IITA, Cassava in Cameroon is either boiled and eaten, or processed into local delicacies such as Mitumba, Baton de manioc, Beignets de manioc, gari, and Ndas among others. Other use includes ethanol production, inclusion in bread production ad glucose syrup production.

 Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

IITA, ABUAD sign MoU to unlock potentials in Africa



International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) in order to unlock Africa's potential in agriculture, natural resources and human.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the MoU is to serve as a linking bridge between the two institutions to boost cooperation so as to complement each other's research efforts.
Commenting on the MoU, Director General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga expressed the institute's excitement over the MoU that IITA is confident to work with ABUAD to tackle hunger and poverty challenges on the continent.
"The MoU will help in building the critical human capital that will address the present and future challenges of not only agriculture but also development," Dr. Sanginga said, adding that agriculture is faced with several constraints like climate change, pests and diseases.
He said the objective of the MoU is a meaningful avenue to engage the youths and give them the tools to be productive.
Specifically, IITA and ABUAD will collaborate in research and development topics of mutual interest, develop joint research and development project proposals, organize joint research activities, conferences, and workshops, establish linkages between IITA and ABUAD scientists, exchange students, and share research materials and publications of common interest.
Vice-Chancellor of ABUAD, Prof. Sidi Osho said the MoU would also help to boost food production and security. Prof. Osho also revealed that the MoU will confer great benefits on the university in terms of international linkages, exchange programs, strengthening research and offering qualitative strategies for administrative capacity.

Yinka Awosanya/LS

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Nigeria, five others benefit from Gates’ largesse


    Farmers from six African countries, including Nigeria, are to benefit from the largesse of the second phase of the Commercial Products (COMPRO-II) project being funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to NaijaAgroNet investigations, Gates Foundation has before now approved the project which amounts to $7 million, about N1.09 billion, with Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania as the six countries to benefit from the second phase of the project.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet also revealed that the project is tagged ‘Institutionalization of quality assurance mechanism and dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase crop yields and improve food security of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.’
IITA Director General, Nteranya Sanginga noted that the main objectives of the project are to institutionalize quality assurance mechanisms and facilitate the rapid dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase yields and also improve security of smallholder farmers.
Further, he said the project is to increase awareness among over two million smallholder farmers on effective and profitable commercial products by 2016 through public-private partnership.
Prem Warrior, a senior Programme Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said that the expected outcome of the project is the institutionalization of screening and approval of commercial products.
The phase II of the project proposes to transit technologies used for the phase 1 of the project into Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda; institutionalize regulatory and quality control processes;    disseminate effective products through public-private partnerships; develop communication tools, and    strengthen human capacity.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that at the end of the project, more farmers are expected to confidently use the quality assurance products because of their safety, efficacy, and quality will be ensured through institutionalized regulatory and quality assurance mechanisms.
 Yinka Awosanya/LS
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