IITA will mark its 50th year of founding in 2017. Almost 50 years ago, IITA’s founders established the Institute as one of the first four major international agricultural research centers across the globe addressing food security and poverty. In 2016, the Institute reiterated its commitment to support partners, including the national programs to help transform African agriculture, and thus facilitate agricultural solutions for hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation
Through its research-for-development efforts and strategic initiatives, IITA continues to focus on four big-picture outcomes that are aligned with the new sustainable development agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: increase in food security, reduction in rural poverty, reduction of undernutrition, and more sustainable management of natural resources.
To ensure success in meeting these goals, IITA partners with various science and development stakeholders that include advanced research institutions, national agricultural research and extension systems, governments and policymakers, civil society, the private sector, development partners, farmers and farmer’s organizations, investors, and media. We continue to strengthen our regional hubs and 15 research stations across sub-Saharan Africa, operating decentralized but integrated regional research programs focused on major constraints to agriculture in the various regions. We participate in several CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) that cut across our major research themes: biotechnology and genetic improvement, natural resource management, plant production and health, nutrition and health, and social science and agribusiness. The IITA-led CRP on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics officially closed in 2016, but IITA continues to use an integrated systems research approach and unique partnership platforms to ensure impact on poverty and ecosystems integrity.