As part of measures to foster partnerships in agricultural transformation with governments in Nigeria, CGIAR-IITA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Ogun State.
With agriculture being a vital source of income in southwest Nigeria and the country as a whole, IITA is exploring partnerships that will out-scale the available agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation.
The Ogun State government, based on its commitment to enhancing self-sufficiency in food production, sought to partner with IITA on innovative solutions and capacity building to develop agriculture in the State. A successful partnership is expected to lead to an increase in the provision of raw materials for agro-based industrialists and generate employment opportunities in the State.
On 23 July, the Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Adeola Odedina signed the MoU with IITA during a visit to the Institute’s headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. IITA Management initiated the strategic collaboration, and both parties agreed to have the partnership focus on technical backstopping, the establishment of demonstration farms, and enterprise development at the Odeda Farm Institute.
Representing IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga, the Deputy Director-General, Partnerships for Delivery, Kenton Dashiell, welcomed the team and introduced the activities of IITA.
Head of IITA Genetic Resources Center, Michael Abberton, and the Director of Advocacy and Country Alignment Function, Kwesi Atta-Krah, gave updates on the Institute’s activities in Ogun State and plans, which include breeding of cassava, maize, and yam.
IITA is strengthening its partnership with the State for improved clean planting material production and supply through the IITA Business Incubation Platform (IITA-BIP) among youth in the State. The parties are also working on a digital collaboration of value chains for improved communication, coordination, and access to markets in Ogun State.
The Hon. Commissioner mentioned that the State Governor, His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun, is excited about the relationship between Ogun State and IITA. He said, “The proposed collaboration gives us mileage in the state; we are proud to be associated with IITA.” He also stated that the meeting is a product of hard work from both parties and that he looks forward to achieving the milestones documented in the MoU.
While appreciating the Ogun State government team for their commitment to the success of the partnership, Dashiell said, “Signing the MoU does not commit any of the parties to do anything, but the commitment exhibited by your team shows that the purpose of this collaboration will be achieved. We hope the partnership grows stronger.”