NABG partners IITA to boost productivity, food security

The Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), yesterday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to disseminate research solutions to boost productivity and food security.

The NABG President, Emmanuel Ijewere, said the partnership is aimed at improving farmers’ productivity in the agricultural value chains.

He said the inputs provided by the IITA would be made available to farmers, as NABG continues to take advice from IITA.

“The essence of the partnership is: whatever is good should not be kept in the drawer or in secret, it must be brought out to people to improve their lives.”

Ijewere said the NABG was sensitising farmers to research solutions, technology to change their psyche, adding that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war was negatively impacting food importation, particularly wheat.

He continued: “A lot has been done as if we were anticipating things like this. Ukraine and Russia’s war, the major effect they will have on wheat in Nigeria.

“As far as wheat is concerned, so much work has gone over the years that wheat which we thought over 20 years ago cannot be grown in a tropical country; we now have tropical wheat, and we now have organisations like Flour Mills already training farmers to do it.”

As a result, he said there was no need to panic as Nigeria was not importing wheat from Ukraine, saying: “We already know where we import our wheat from other parts of the world.”

There is no need to panic as Nigeria was not importing wheat from Ukraine… we import our wheat from other parts of the world.

The Head of Station, IITA in Abuja, Prof. Lateef Sanni, said the partnership became imperative because of the current crisis in the world and global recession.

He said Nigeria’s annual wheat demand of six million metric tonnes (mt) was being supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with 8,000mt, adding that IITA over the years had developed modern technologies and practices that could be scaled up.

The Director, Development and Delivery, IITA, Dr Alfred Dixon, expressed confidence in NABG’s capacity to take Nigeria’s agribusiness to greater heights through the partnership.

“The MoU is to ensure we work with NABG to catalyse scaling of agricultural technologies in Nigeria such that Nigeria can yearly achieve agricultural transformation,” he said.

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