Ibadan,Nigeria— The ambassadors fromFinland,Norway, andSwedenhave commended the quality of research and scientific professionalism displayed at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in fighting hunger and poverty in tropical countries.
The visit to IITA-West Africa inIbadan,Nigeriaby the diplomats further reinforced the imperative for agricultural research to address the challenges of food insecurity in tropical countries.
Her Excellency Anneli Vuorinen,Finland’s Ambassador toNigeria, said “The level of excellence and knowledge at IITA is extraordinary.”
Established in 1967, IITA is now one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions to hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.
Using the research for development (R4D) approach, the Institute works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture.
In over four decades of existence, the Institute has contributed to building the capacities of scientists in tropical nations, thereby helping to stabilize the national research systems especially those in sub-SaharanAfrica. Improved maize varieties released by the Institute today make up 60% of farmers’ preferred varieties in West andCentral Africa. “The biological control programs of the Institute against food crop pests saved cassava, a major staple inAfrica,” said Dr. Peter Hartmann, IITA’s Director General.
Norway’s Ambassador toNigeria, His Excellency Kjell Lillerud, said he was proud of his government’s support to IITA and the positive outcomes that research has had on the lives of people in the tropics.
“I am happy my country is supporting IITA and I am impressed with the work here,” he said.
Among the areas visited by the ambassadors were the Institute’ Genetic Resources Center, which holds in trust for the world the largest collection of cowpea and other crops such as soybean, cassava, maize, yam, and banana, among others. The team also visited theBioscienceCenterand the IITA forest—one of the few surviving secondary forests in the West African region, where thousands of indigenous tree seedlings are being raised for reforestation.
The Swedish Ambassador toNigeria, His Excellency Per Lindgärde, who was instrumental in organizing the visit, said his country appreciated the positive impacts IITA’s work has had on food production inAfrica. “We see the value in the work IITA is doing and we will continue to give our support,” he said.
The visit provided the Nordic ambassadors and IITA Administration the opportunity to explore a broad range of development challenges.
Filed by Godwin Atser
Corporate Communications Officer (East & Southern Africa)
IITA is an international non-profit R4D organization established in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the CGIAR. We work with partners in Africa and beyond to reduce producer and consumer risks, enhance crop quality and productivity, and generate wealth from agriculture. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty. Our award winning research for development (R4D) is based on focused, authoritative thinking anchored on the development needs of tropical countries.