IITA, Premier Agribusiness Academy Sign MoU on Capacity Building, Food Security
Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA), Nigeria’s centre for learning and transferring innovative competencies required for sustainable investment in all allied industries of the agri-sector has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for the purpose of capacity building for farmers.
The Director General (DG) of Premier Agribusiness Academy, Mr. Francis Toromade, made this known shortly after the signing which took place in Ibadan.
The DDG, Partnership for Delivery, IITA, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, said with the MoU, IITA and PAA has agreed to exchange information in areas of human capacity development on the most impactful practices (MIP) on IITA’s core mandate crops that will impact private sector stakeholders in the agricultural value chain and farmers in Nigeria thereby bringing about higher produce, farmer profitability and ultimately food security in Nigeria.
While explaining the purpose of the collaboration, Mr. AyoOluwa Okediji, an Information Technology (IT) Consultant with PAA explained that it was aimed at driving productivity and profitability in agribusiness by leveraging digital technologies and other innovative solutions to aid proper dissemination and transfer of IITA’s research results into effective policy and practice across the agri-food value chain.
According to him, the MoU would leverage on the technical strengths of both parties for the development of agribusiness and farmer profitability in Nigeria adding that, while IITA is known for quality research in agriculture, PAA is renowned for its private sector agribusiness capacity building projects.
Okediji further explained that, while IITA carries out quality research with ground breaking agricultural discoveries, its research output need to be properly disseminated to the private sector stakeholders and local farmers for practice notwithstanding commendable efforts by the IITA Business Incubation platform, designed to ensure that results from research is transferred into practice by end users. He added that with the IITA/PAA collaboration, more stakeholders within the agribusiness value chain could be reached and empowered through access to research results that are domiciled with IITA which can improve farmers’ livelihood.
‘In other words, the MoU will help PAA support what IITA is presently doing in terms of capacity building and extension to extend research results. This is one of the core values that PAA is bringing into the partnership,” he said.
In his words, Mr. Frederick Schreurs, CEO, IITA Business Incubation Platform, explained that IITA BIP’s founding objectives to stimulate product development, and provide expertise and training in commercial agriculture and farm management, and opportunities for market expansion, which involves identifying pioneering technologies, developing partnership agreements to leverage their potential, refining them into products, test-marketing these products, training partners in manufacturing and marketing.
Mr. Francis Toromade, the Director General, Premier Agribusiness Academy said, “some stakeholders within the agricultural industry are not aware of what IITA is doing in terms of research and how it can impact their farming practice.”