CORAF 23 August 2016 /

The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) wants to leverage the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) model on research for development (R4D) for the up scaling of its agricultural technologies. Dr Abdou TENKOUANO, the Executive Director calls for closer ties to benefit National Centers of Specialization (NCoS) under the auspices of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) through capacity building programs and experience sharing during his official visit to IITA-Ibadan on 10 August, 2016.

“IITA is recognized as a key player in Africa’s agricultural advancement and consistently plays a major role in helping to generate employment, as well as deploying world class agricultural technologies (…) CORAF/WECARD is interested in partnering with IITA to tap from its rich international expertise and using such to empower national centers,” Dr TENKOUANO said.

In fact, WAAPP is currently in a transformative phase to realize it’s goal of technology upscaling and continuous adoption. Emphasis is to disseminate available technologies for more impact on productivity, job creation and socio-economic wellbeing of target audience in the participating counties. The programme have generated over 160 improved and high yielding agricultural technologies that are positively impacting over 6 million farmers’ lives in West Africa.

Sheu Salau, an Agricultural Economist representing the World Bank calls for a concerted approach to transform information delivery and knowledge sharing for beneficiaries. “Some transformation in the way science, technology and innovation are deployed to end users is needed (…) the World Bank acknowledges the need to strengthen its collaboration with IITA in the areas of evidence-based knowledge as this largely informs how programs are designed,” Salau noted.

IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga welcomed the partnership proposal, noting that the crisis situation in many sub-regions in Africa makes the proposal timely.

CORAF/WECARD delegation also went on a tour of IITA facilities and interacted with the IITA Youth Agripreneurs. The activities and achievements of the young men and women under the platform impressed the CORAF team.