Oyo State NIRSAL team visits IITA
Representatives from the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) visited IITA-Ibadan on 23 May. The visit aimed to seek out opportunities for collaboration with IITA, especially in agribusiness.
NIRSAL, a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Nigeria, responsible for funding farmers for optimum agricultural production, has offices in all states of Nigeria. Kenneth Osanebi, Head of the Oyo State NIRSAL team known as the Project Monitoring, Reporting & Remediation Office (PMR) led his team to meet with IITA Deputy Director General, Partnership for Delivery, Kenton Dashiell and Alfred Dixon, Director of the Development and Delivery Office, IITA. The team, which is the contact center and business development unit of NIRSAL has about eight field officers working on different projects such as poultry, maize, cassava, and soybean.
The team visited the facilities and projects of the Institute, having heard so much about IITA’s work in promoting agriculture in Africa, especially in the areas of maize and cassava. “We hope to establish a partnership with IITA where we can aggregate farmers together and finance them, with technical assistance from IITA in terms of capacity building and extension services,” Osanebi said.
“IITA loves to catch farmers in groups for better agricultural production. The Institute has great technologies on cassava, maize, and soybean that will help farmers and IITA would love to partner with NIRSAL to better agriculture in Oyo State as we have same aim of delivering technologies,” Dashiell said.
Dashiell advised the team to visit the IITA facilities including factories producing products to get an idea on what NIRSAL and IITA can work on together. The team visited the Aflasafe and Nodumax production facilities, IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA), and Semi-Autotrophic Hydroponic (SAH) lab for yam.
At the Youth Agripreneur building, Business Development Officer Idowu Osun explained that IYA focuses on technical and entrepreneurial skill development, supporting youth with start-up loans for their own businesses to become employers of labor in agribusiness. He noted that IITA is working on the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), which also has a youth component, ENABLE-TAAT. “IITA Youth Agripreneurs would love to work with NIRSAL to get more funds for beneficiaries,” he added.