Dr Nteranya Sanginga
In 2017, we are celebrating our Golden Jubilee. IITA will be only one of four CGIAR centers to reach that milestone, and the first Africa-based center to do so. I am very excited and extremely proud to be at the helm when IITA reaches that landmark.
Going towards our 50th anniversary—and together with our partners, supporters, and donors—we continue to toil hard to achieve impact from our research-for-development (R4D) work to help our smallholder farmers create a better life for themselves and their families. To this end, 2016 has been another exciting and productive year for us.
We concluded an institutional reorganization and realignment by creating the Partnerships for Delivery (P4D) Directorate to replace the Partnerships and Capacity Development Directorate to enable us to better achieve our goals of increasing the productivity and wealth of African farm families and improving their health. We also streamlined and decentralized many of our processes and procedures to make our Hubs more autonomous, and make the delivery of our R4D and P4D efforts across the continent more efficient.
We developed a new institutional tagline “Transforming African Agriculture”, which more aptly reflects our aspirations, mission, and vision as stipulated in our Refreshed Strategy 2020 and clearly describes our work and how we respond to the ever-changing landscape of agriculture in Africa.
In 2016, IITA was instrumental in the development of the “Zero Hunger in Nigeria” Strategy—a roadmap that outlines what the country needs to do to achieve a hunger-free status by 2030, in line with one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We continued to build on the success of our Youth Agripreneurs program, which has its roots in Nigeria but has now spread to many other African countries and is supported by various international donors, national programs, and governments.
We also advanced on many of our research fronts across the continent. We documented success stories from our R4D projects particularly on crop breeding, seed systems development, biodiversity conservation, pest and disease management, nutrition and health, natural resources management, seed and postharvest storage, ICT in agriculture, technology upscaling, gender equity, and agricultural mechanization.
On the P4D front, we have consolidated our strengths in partnership, technology delivery, multi-stakeholder platforms, mega project management, mechanization, and commercializing technologies through our Business Incubation Platform to ensure that IITA’s research outputs reach small farmers and businesses, as in the case of Aflasafe, NoduMax, and GoSeeds. Aflasafe is now being marketed in three countries in Africa, making food supplies safer for Africans; NoduMax is ensuring higher yields in soybean for enhanced nutrition; and breeder and foundation seeds are more readily available for seed companies when they need them.
We continued to build Africa’s next generation of agricultural researchers, coaching and producing several MSc and PhD graduates. We also organized and facilitated training courses to build the capacities and upgrade the skills of our own staff, to keep pace with the advances in related technologies and the dynamic nature of agricultural research.
We reached out and explored new partnerships, while nurturing existing ones. Partnerships have been, and will always be, one of the cornerstones of our operations. We achieve our goals because of the backing of our donors and supporters.
As we move towards our 50th anniversary, we look forward to better and brighter things ahead. I hope you enjoy going through this Annual Report.
Dr Nteranya Sanginga