Osun State Commissioner of Agriculture visits IITA to seek collaboration
On 3 December, Honorable Adedayo Adewole, Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Osun State visited IITA to explore collaboration opportunities. Directors and Deputy Directors of research and extension, fisheries, livestock, and the Program Manager of the Agricultural Development Program, all working with the Osun State Ministry of Agriculture accompanied the Commissioner.
Hon. Adewole showed appreciation over the already existing partnership between IITA and Osun State, but also emphasized the need for his team to “learn from a system that works.” He said, “I want my team to see a system that works and learn from it. I want everyone to realize that nothing stops Osun’s agricultural sector from working, especially if we are persistent.”
Dashiell told the team of IITA’s willingness to partner with Osun State, but also charged the delegation on some of the right steps towards sustainable development in the agricultural sector of the State. He said, “Make sure your objectives align with both national and state policies. Be grounded in technology, engage with the private sector, and develop realistic scaling strategies. We must make sure that this meeting yields fruit.”
Hon. Adewole said, “We are looking at how IITA can strategically collaborate with us by creating a demonstration farm, where farmers can come and learn.” In addition, he commended IITA’s Start Them Early Program (STEP) and has begun to make plans for a partnership between the Osun State government and STEP.
In response, Dashiell encouraged them to create the demonstration farm themselves, as owners of the land, but that IITA will be of support in every way. “We will make the demonstration farm a profit-making farm through collaboration with the private sector,” Dashiell said.
DG Sanginga pledged to render support to Osun State Ministry of Agriculture, and also urged everyone on the team to support the Commissioner with their expertise. “Currently, there is an IITA station of about 200 ha in Osun state, hence this won’t be the last interaction between IITA and Osun State,” DG Sanginga said.
The take-home message for the delegates was that they must do the work, but can be assured of IITA’s support. Addressing his team, Hon. Adewole concluded, “We have to double our efforts.”