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Vanguard. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012-27

BUSINESS/ AGRICULTURE

IITA offers recipe t o tackle food insecurity, unemployment ByJ IMOH IIABATUNDE wtlh agency reporu

T:

ppmg n!5earcltoutputs from International agncullural researc h centers could help nallona! and state governments 10 tackle the twin problelll5 of food insecurity and the nsing wave of unemployment. says the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agllculture, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga. Faced With Ule c hallenge of food defiOl, most governmenl5 to developing countnes and especuuly AJrica rely on food Imports to meet local demands . Also the nSlllg population In the region poses two important challenges: more moutru. 10 feed and unemployment During a cowtesy visit to the Governor of Eklti Stale, Dr. Kayode Faye.mi, on Thesday, Sangmga said "We have the t ologlesand knowledge to help boost a]riculture and we are ready to share these With partners " He said inves tments In research and development backed With the necessary political support could

alleVIate the situation of high food Import burden and unprove agncullure. Pledging to step up assl5tance to farmers in Etch State , Sangmga called for greater cooperation between IITA and the government of Eklti. Endowed with favorable agroecologlcal wnes, Elah 15 among the states that have over the years benefited from IITA's interventions in research and development work m cocoa, yam, cassava, and banana and plantam. For instance, farmers in that state received improved cassava cuttings from the institute, whLle the clean seed yam technology is equally oHenng farmers 'seeds of hope'

A cco rd ing to Sanginga, .l"\..partnersrup IS Important If the goal of reducing the number of poor people and guaranteeing food secunty is to be achieved. While urgmg the governo r to tap the avaLiable improved planting matenals at the institute to rna.xunue Yield on farmers' 6ekts, he said that the yellow cassava varieties recently developed by UTA and nabonal partners couJd hclp the

one Africa (ACRAl. Thmale. Ghana. Pic by Jimoh Babalunde

state lJl unprovmg the nutnbon of people s uffenng from VltaJrun A deficency. Other areas In which th e mstitute could support farmers in Ekiti state include deployment of Improved processing technologies through the value chalD approachandcapaotybuildmg of agncultu.ra1 actors. The director general also presented Ih e 40 percent CilS5ava bread to the governor

Over 2,000 unemployed youths jostle for slots bout 2,000 unemployed A youths across the 20 I..oc&l Government Areas and

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Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs yesterday sat for an aptitude test, a prereqwsite for adJnlS5lOn into the Lagos Stale Agriculture Youth Empo....-erment Scheme, Agnc路Yes programme. The programme, which locked 0(1 In 2008, auned at training ove r 1,000 young g raduates in various

FG, Kwara govt sign MoU on cassava transformation he Feder41 government las t week sig ned a T MemoranduIlI of Understanding, MoU, With the Kwara State government on Cassava transformation a t the Government House. Ilorln. The MinlSter uf Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina. who signed on behall of th e Fedentl Government. said the MoU isdesignecJ Io~ the cultivation of cassava in

commercial scale in the State, is borne nut of the success story of the S h onga Commertia1 Farming initiative of the Slate Government a.nd Malei C Yo uth Inte grate d naining Farm. The objectives 01 the MoU. according to Dr. Alrinwumi, is to fa cilitate market ouUet for 660,000 taos of cassava In the short-term. upgrade five Small an d M e dium Sule

'T'be Ekiti State Governor. ~ Dr. Kayode Fayeml , commended IITA for 115 efforts and eIpressed the state's willingness to collaborate With the Josbtute. H e SIIld the s ta te would require support in the area of mecharuzabon. adding that a

bluepnnt for the state ' s agncultUllll development IS m the Pipeline. The governor SilId thai the state has the agroecology that could be eUectJvely tapped to feed and generate revenue mternally. He stressed thai the VlSlt of lITA was umely, adding that the hlueprint being developed would belp the stale to take advantage of both the internal and cxtema1 markets

AGRIC EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME:

ByOLASUNKAmUAKONI

Dr. Kehmde Malonde and MWlchuli SylVia of Alliance for Green Revolullon in Afnca (ACRAl during a chat With JOumahsts at their Accra Gha na oUice.

and relterated that JITA bas a number of technologies ID other crops thai Ole state could lap.

Enterprises producing high quality cassava Dou,t, conduct infrastructure a.nd equipment upgrade for eight clusters of food processors, establish 14 large dried c hip processing plants each c apable of producing 6,000 Ions of dried c hips , c re ate out grower farmers and es tablis h demonstration trials in 50 locations in the State, among oIheB.

agricultural potenllals m food and animal production within the neIt three years. One hundred successful candidates out of the 2,000 that sat for the test would be selected for the fourth batch to be admitted In early April . 2012. The Com mi SSione r lor Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Ggbolahau lawai, wbile addreSSing the Intending benefiCiaries 0111 Agriculture Development Authority. ADA. Oko- Oba, Agege, venue of the aptitude test , eIplalned tha t the em powerment scheme, AGRIC - YES aimed at teadung graduates and under graduate in tbe sta te tbe modem method of farming which willln tum boost food production 11.5 well as make the m seU reliance." Speaklng through Mr kayode Ashara, programme coordioatdr of the scheme, wbile noting that educated entrepreneurial young farmers will replace ageing fanners added that the scbeme

hIlS emerged 115 a veritable means by which Governor Babatunde Fashola -Ied administration is fighting poverty. bunger, food

shortage, unemployment and proViding hope for hitherto helpless graduates in the state and beyond lawaI.. stated thai "the fulure of the state hes In the ability successive governments to harness the agricultural potentIals of Lagos, espeoally 10 the area of deployment of modern lechnologles to Improve food and ammal production." e said "Aguc 路YES was 1R1tiated Ha scheme, interventlon - the

11.5

social

twin problems of unemployment and food insecurity in the state, . The scheme is a three- phase prngnunme spanning. penod of five years With a target of producing 1,000 elite fanners, With phase one made up of a six路month intensive lrillning programme. !PJbe second phase focuses

on a siJ: 路 mont.h lnternship s tage, which enables those wbo sc41ed through the first phase to proceed to the commercial farm to learn best pra c tices on running successful farms. 1'be third stage is the exit stage. where successful


VANGUARD, 24 fEBRUARY, 2012  

IITA offers recipe to tackle food insecurity, unemployment

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