FAO to partner with IITA in reducing world hunger and malnutrition
The new representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Nigeria and his team recently visited IITA headquarters to strengthen the partnership between FAO and IITA by exploring IITA technologies and discover more areas of collaboration.
Smallholder farmers are faced continually with the impacts of climate change. FAO seeks to collaborate with other institutes that share the vision to address this issue and reduce hunger and malnutrition globally.
Kenton Dashiell, IITA DDG-Partnership for Delivery, Alfred Dixon, IITA Director of Development for Delivery, and Kwesi Atta-Krah, IITA Director of Advocacy and Country Alignment Function, welcomed the delegation and introduced IITA’s activities to the team. Frederick Schreurs, CEO of the IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP), also highlighted its activities. IITA-BIP is an independent arm of IITA where science meets business. For a broader view, the team went on a tour of the Institute, visiting the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA), Aflasafe and Nodumax facilities, and the Genetic Resources Center.
Following the IYA presentation, Abubakar Suleiman, FAO Assistant Representative in Nigeria, said that he sees the IYA platform as a source of inspiration to youth because it can create massive job opportunities. “The model should be easy to replicate in every state in Nigeria since youth are more receptive to technology and digitization in agriculture, and other emerging trends that would transform the food system in the future,” he added.
After the tour, Fred Kafeero, FAO Representative, mentioned their interest in partnering with IITA in two key areas: IYA and BIP, including Aflasafe. He explained that this would enable more youth to engage in agricultural production and processing for commercial purposes.
DDG Dashiell appreciated the FAO team for their keen interest in collaborating with IITA and stated that IITA is willing and open to partnership.