Danish company visits IITA-Abuja, seeks partnership for sourcing shea nut in Nigeria
To sustain effective collection and utilization of shea nut for the benefit of key stakeholders, especially women, a two-member delegation comprising Mr Guillaume Noirot, Sourcing and Logistics Manager, AAK Benin Republic and Mr Arne Strauss, Project Manager, AAK Denmark, visited IITA-Abuja Station on 18 March. The visit was to explore opportunities for partnership with IITA in achieving regular and sustained sourcing of shea nut in Nigeria.
Receiving the delegation, Head of IITA-Abuja Station, Gbassey Tarawali thanked the AAK delegation for visiting and gave them an overview of IITA’s work in providing cutting edge agricultural technologies for the transformation of African agriculture. He welcomed the idea of collaborating with IITA, whom he said was preparing to implement a USAID integrated agricultural project in the North East, which involves a shea nut agribusiness support component. Tarawali noted that IITA is well positioned to sensitize and create awareness on the need to preserve shea nut trees and promote its sustainable collection and processing.
A private sector participant, Mr Richard Akanmonde, Director of Operations, Shea Butter Division at Gamut Ventures Ltd, also attended the meeting along with the AgResults Project Manager, Debo Akande and ATASP-1 Outreach Project Administrator, Ijie Ben Asuelimen.
In other news, IITA was represented at the Nigeria Agriculture Donor Working Group (ADWG) meeting held on 20 March at the FAO Nigeria Country office in Abuja. Representatives of several donor organizations attended the quarterly meeting. They included United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Netherlands Embassy, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Other participants were the Association of Deans of Agriculture in Nigerian Universities (ADANU), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD). Head of IITA-Abuja Station, Gbassey Tarawali represented the Institute.
The meeting included presentations by ADANU and Public Private Partnership. In addition, JICA updated the meeting on the Multisector Nutrition Workshop that was held on 31 January 2019, which IITA attended. Updates were shared based on the agreement by stakeholders during the last meeting that data collection and submission to Regional Economic Community (RECs) be completed by 30 June 2019 for the Joint Sector Review. FAO expounded on the 2019 action plans for the recently inaugurated National Fall Armyworm Task Force. This included the strategies to be adopted, activities, expected outcomes, and the organizations responsible for each activity. The Agricultural Policy Brief by IFPRI was also not left out of the discussion. The Institute of Agricultural Research & Training (IAR&T) used the opportunity to invite the group to its 50th Anniversary celebration which came up from 1 to 5 April 2019.