Co-operate to enhance the efficiency of farmersArticle | May 8, 2012 – 1:30am | By Eki Toju

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) will build synergies to tackle the challenges posed by hunger in the region, in a bid to fight poverty and malnutrition in Africa.

Godwin Atser, IITA’s Corporate Communications Officer for West and Central Africa, on Monday disclosed that the cooperation would enhance the efficiency of farmers.

Dr. Jimmy Smith, the Director-General of ILRI and Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, the IITA Director-General, agreed on the co-operation at a dinner held in Ibadan recently.

According to Sanginga, the partnership became necessary because IITA alone cannot solve all of Africa’s problems.

He also noted that the institutes had partnered in the past on projects such as Promoting Sustainable Agriculture in Borno.

Smith, on his part, said he envisioned IITA and ILRI harnessing strengths for the betterment of farmers, explaining that the presence of a crop and a livestock research partnership in Africa provided an opportunity for the continent.

ILRI, with its headquarters in Kenya, has the mandate to improve the productivity of livestock and the IITA, in Nigeria, has the mandate to improve sub-Saharan Africa’s major staple crops.

The IITA stable crops include cassava, yam, maize, soybean, cow peas, cocoa, banana and plantain.

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