Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA), Nigeria’s leading centre for learning and transferring innovative competencies required for sustainable investment in agri-sector allied industries has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Africa’s leading agricultural research institute, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), for private sector and farmer capacity building.
The Director General of PAA, Mr. Francis Toromade, made this known shortly after the MoU signing ceremony at the IITA International Headquarters in Ibadan.
Dr. Kenton Dashiell, DDG, Partnership for Delivery, IITA, said with the MoU, IITA and PAA have 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, said it is 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 will 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 groundbreaking agricultural discoveries, its research output needs to be properly disseminated to private sector stakeholders and local farmers for practice notwithstanding commendable efforts by the IITA Business Incubation platform, designed to ensure that results from research are transferred into practice by end users.
He added that with this IITA/PAA collaboration, more stakeholders within the agribusiness value chain can be reached and empowered through access to research results that are domiciled with IITA, which can improve farmers’ livelihood.
“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.
For his part, Mr. Frederick Schreurs, CEO, IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP) further explained that IITA BIP’s founding objectives to stimulate product development, provide expertise and training in commercial agriculture and farm management, and opportunities for market expansion, which involve identifying pioneering technologies, developing partnership agreements to leverage their potential, refining them into products, test-marketing the products, as well as training partners in manufacturing and marketing.