The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State has won the prestigious Africa Food Prize for coming up with innovations aimed at improving “food security” in Africa.

IITA reputed to be the pioneer in the field of “food security innovation” was announced the winner on the sidelines of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali, Rwanda.

According to an official statement, the research institution was the first African institution to receive such distinguished award.

The independent Africa Food Prize Committee, chaired by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had selected IITA for its deep commitment over many decades to producing a steady stream of innovations, the statement said.

Reports showed that the innovations have especially boosted the nutrition and incomes of millions of people across Africa.

According to official estimates, overall, for Africans, the value of the crops developed by IITA and its partners now stands at US$ 17 billion and counting.

It said that this is underscoring the entity’s contribution to not only Africa’s agriculture, but its economy as well.

Speaking after receiving the Prize on behalf of his institution, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, IITA’s Director General, harped on the need for research outcomes to be made available to millions of farmers in the continent.