Tapping research outputs from international agricultural research centers could help national and state governments to tackle the twin problems of food insecurity and the rising wave of unemployment, says the Director-General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga.
He said this during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, a statement from the institute said on Friday. Sanginga said, “We have the technologies and knowledge to help boost agriculture and we are ready to share these with partners.”
He said investments in research and development backed with the necessary political support could alleviate the situation of high food import burden and improve agriculture.
Pledging to step up assistance to farmers in Ekiti State, Sanginga called for greater cooperation between IITA and the government of Ekiti.
According to the statement, Ekiti is among the states that have over the years benefited from IITA’s interventions in research and development work in cocoa, yam, cassava, and banana and plantain.
“For instance, farmers in that state received improved cassava cuttings from the institute, while the clean seed yam technology is equally offering farmers ‘seeds of hope’”, it said.
Sanginga was quoted as saying partnership was important if the goal of reducing the number of poor people and guaranteeing food security was to be achieved.
While urging the governor to tap the available improved planting materials at the institute to maximize yield on farmers’ fields, he said that the yellow cassava varieties recently developed by IITA and national partners could help the state in improving the nutrition of people suffering from vitamin A deficiency.