FG to Partner With IITA to Boost Food Security

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The Vice President, Kashim Shettima has assured the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) of the Federal Government’s partnership to ensure food security in the country.

Shettima gave the assurance when he received the IITA delegation led by the Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, Simeon Ehui, at the State House, yesterday.

According to him, the President Bola Tinubu-led administration will give all the necessary support and assistance to ensure food security and also enhance agricultural practices that will produce enough food for the citizens.

He said: “There has to be a paradigm shift. Our agricultural output is low as compared to our size of population and even the unfriendly environmental factors. So, this is a time of change and I want to give you the guarantee that my boss is with you and he will solidly support you to execute your mandate.

“My boss, President Bola Tinubu is a man of courage and conviction and he has determined to reposition the nation more than ever before.”

Shettima praised IITA for doing well in the production of certain agricultural produce such as “cassava, yam and soya beans”, and also commended the team for the many successes they have recorded in the agricultural sector in the West African region.

He stated further that IITA has an iconic presence in Nigeria; especially in Ibadan and West Africa. Therefore, the country must maximise the benefits which the institution can bring to bear on the agricultural sector in the country.

According to him, “Your own mantra is about the increase in agricultural yield and what tools can be used to improve such yield; ensure seed quality and availability, sound agricultural practices, fertilizer, and most importantly market accessibility.

“These are not rocket science, these are real and of course, if we can have very sound and environmentally friendly irrigation mechanism that will enhance our farm outputs, we can achieve our objectives”

Shettima applauded the institution for its reputation and international best practices, saying that the “Federal Government can effortlessly do business with you. So, I want to give you my candid assurance that by my training, by my inclination as an agricultural economist and as a banker by profession, we can definitely engage with you.”

The Director-General, Simeon Ehui, thanked the Federal Government for the support to IITA over the years, disclosing that it has expanded across many states in the country. He further expressed the readiness of IITA to partner with the Tinubu administration, adding that so much needs to be done in Nigeria.

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