In a move to improve maize and cassava production in Nigeria, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has partnered with the Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Sector – Nigeria (GIAE), a program funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
This cooperative arrangement was announced by Godwin Atser, project manager for the IITA, who shared that the 18-month project aims to upscale the maize and cassava value chains and, in turn, lead to massive wealth and job opportunities for youth and women.
Atser explained that the project is to be implemented in four select states: Kano and Kaduna States, where maize will be the focus, and Oyo and Ogun States, where the cassava value chain will be addressed. He added that the project will help build the capacities of smallholder farmers with regard to productivity and farm safety technologies.
With its special initiative “One World No Hunger,” the BMZ hopes to make a significant contribution to the reduction of poverty and hunger.
As part of the initiative, the GIAE follows a holistic approach by focusing on identifying and fostering innovations, disseminating know-how and technological solutions, and upgrading skills.
According to Atser, the partnership is slated to address three major activity areas, including integrated pest management, aflatoxin and food safety, and the creation of a cassava seed system in which farmers can produce and sell quality cassava stems to generate additional income.
Sanne Chipeta, project head for the GIZ, noted that the collaboration will help add value towards improving productivity and food safety in the value chains and, consequently, create positive results in food and nutritional security.