The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to join efforts in unlocking Africa’s human, agricultural, and natural resources potentials, IITA Dirctor General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, has said. The MoU between IITA and ABUAD will help in building the critical human capital that will address the present and future challenges of not only agriculture but also development. “We are very excited in signing this MoU and we are also confident that together we can work to tackle the challenges to hunger and poverty,” said Dr Sanginga.

“Today, if you take agriculture for instance, you will discover that the sector is faced with several constraints such as climate change, emerging pests and diseases, etc. These constraints can be tackled if we develop the human capacity that will provide solutions to them.” Under IITA’s revised strategy; research, partnerships and capacity building are key drivers for IITA’s success as the Institute aims to lift 20 million people out of poverty and free 25 million hectares of degraded land in the next decade. IITA Deputy Director General, Partnerships and Capacity Building, Dr Kenton Dashiell said the MoU between IITA and ABUAD would help tap the potential of youths that are important stakeholders for rural and economic development. “This is one way of meaningfully engaging the youths…giving them the tools to be productive,” Dr Dashiell added. Specific areas of interest for the two institutions in the MoU include collaboration in research and development on topics of mutual interest, development of joint research and development project proposals for submission to prospective donors for funding, and exchange of research materials, publications, and other materials of common interest among others. Dr Dashiell said both IITA and ABUAD would work to implement the ‘areas of interest’ according to the terms spelt out in the MoU