Abuja, – The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), on Wednesday expressed readiness to work with the Federal Government to improve food security in the country.
The Director-General of IITA, Mr Simeon Ehui, made this known while answering questions from State House Correspondents, shortly after he paid a courtesy visit on the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu on July 13 declared a state of emergency on food security due to the inflation in food items in the market caused by insecurity in the North-East, North-West, and South-East.
Ehui, who assured the determination of the institute towards eliminating food insecurity in Nigeria, thanked the Federal Government for its continue support to the institute since its inception in 1967.
“We came to pay a courtesy visit on Vice President Kashim Shettima, together with the Chairman of the Board of the institute.
“Our objective is really to thank the Government for all the support it has been providing the institute which has been in existence since 1967, more than 60 years ago.
“We heard good news from the Vice President about the continue support that the government of Nigeria is providing to the institute and we look forward to working with the government to increase food security and eliminate food insecurity in Nigeria.”
The D-G explained that the institute is a research institute that leverages on developing technologies to provide excellent yields and quality seeds.
He also said that the institute, apart from working with the National Government, partnered States and some agencies to improve agronomy practices and ensure disease control.
“We are also involved in ensuring agriculture business development.
“We think that with the growth in population and increasing demand, agric business becomes very important.
“To us, value chain development is very important, so IITA looks into how we can improve production of processed products, so these are the areas of our intervention, as we seek to provide the technology that can assist.”
He said in Cassava for instance, “we are doing a lot on organisation and processing to help improve the livelihood of the people who are making agriculture their business.” (NAN)