USAID Mission Director to Nigeria visits IITA
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director to Nigeria, Stephen Haykin, paid a visit to IITA headquarters on 23 March, to discuss existing partnerships between USAID and IITA.
Haykin was received by senior IITA management including Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General, Partnerships for Delivery (DDG-P4D) and Hilde Koper-Limbourg, Deputy Director General, Corporate Services (DDG-CS).
In his welcome remarks, Dashiell expressed gratitude for the continuous support of USAID to IITA’s research and development activities. He emphasized the commitment of the Institute towards ensuring sustainable and progressive development of the agricultural sector in Africa.
“The support of USAID to IITA for about 30–40 years, and to Africa for many years, has been very helpful in pushing agricultural research. We have established very strong partnerships in Nigeria as well,” said Dashiell.
Haykin reiterated the mission of USAID to help developing countries move towards sustainable development. He also noted that USAID, which has had effective partnerships with IITA, believes in the prospects and expertise of the Institute, especially in improving livelihoods of farmers and farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Mission Director embarked on a tour of the IITA campus and facilities including visits to factories at the IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP), the recently commissioned Tissue Culture Building, the Youth in Agribusiness Center, and the Tree Heritage Park.
According to Dashiell, funds from USAID have been valuable to agricultural research projects in IITA, such as the second 5-year phase of the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) which began in October 2016. Soon, another project also funded by USAID through the Feed the Future Initiative will commence.