By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina is to commission the $700,000 building for youth agripreneurs as part of activities to mark the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) at 50
The building is a new Training Facility for Capacity Development for Youth Agripreneurs funded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and IITA
In a statement to from the IITA, states that the $700,000 youth training facility comprises of two major training rooms that can sit conveniently 50 trainees each, two big offices that can sit 30 interns each, and 20 standard sized offices.
Chair of the IITA @50 Organizing Committee Dr Kwesi Atta-, emphasized the importance of youth engagement in agriculture of the future.
He said the celebration of the 50th year of IITA in Africa transcends past achievements. “It is also an opportunity for us to begin to look at the future of agriculture and the role IITA will be playing especially as it relates to emerging challenges of climate change, pests and diseases, and rising youth unemployment,” he added.
Established in 1967 through a partnership of the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation of the United States, IITA has helped in raising the productivity of Africa’s key crops – cassava, banana/plantain, maize, cowpea, yam, and soybean using the power of innovative science and technology
Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General, Partnerships for Delivery, said besides crop and livelihood improvement, IITA’s biggest contributions and strengths are the capacity development of Africans in the agricultural space, and its network of strong national, regional, and international partners. “Some of our alumni such as Akin Adesina today occupy key positions and are driving the development of agriculture in their respective countries, and in Adesina’s case, the African continent,” he added.
The statement further revealed that Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will speak on food security and Nigeria’s preparedness to diversify its economy using agriculture as a lever.
Prof Osinbajo leads other dignitaries and leaders from scientific research, education, and corporate organizations from African countries and beyond, in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Monday, 24 July 2017 in Ibadan. He will be joined by former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also IITA Goodwill Ambassador.
The event provides Nigeria’s acting president the opportunity to address more than 300 international, regional, and national experts, and to further unveil the country’s thinking towards agriculture especially in the context of economic diversification. He will also speak on the critical role of IITA—Africa’s biggest international agricultural research institute—in the transformation of Africa’s agriculture.
IITA DG,Dr Nteranya Sanginga, said the world is waiting for Nigeria to take leadership in the agricultural space…and the Acting president’s message would be critical in helping participants to understand the country’s agricultural development agenda.