The Premier Agribusiness Academy (PAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for private sector and farmers’ capacity building.
The Director General (DG) of the academy, Mr. Francis Toromade, who spoke shortly after the MoU signing at the institute in Ibadan, Oyo State, said what PAA will do as part of the partnership is to make sure that all the commodities and crops that are the focus of research in IITA like cassava, maize, soybean and yam, among others get private sector awareness and patronage.
According to Toromade, the purpose of the agreement is to increase human capacity development through good and most impactful agricultural practice in the areas of maize, cowpea, soybean, yam and cassava cultivation.
Toromade, who blamed the low yield per hectare of soybean in Nigeria on lack of knowledge and technical ability of farmers, explained that with the same farmland size, South Africa generates 1.97 tons of soybeans per hectare, while Nigeria generates 0.97 tons per hectare with the same size and quality of land.
He said what PAA is trying to do with the collaboration is to bridge the gap between the farmers, the private sector and the quality research done in IITA.
DDG, Partnership for Delivery, IITA, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, said with the MoU, both parties 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.
While explaining the purpose of the collaboration, an Information Technology (IT) Consultant with PAA, Mr. AyoOluwa Okediji, explained that the collaboration 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 farmers 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.
The CEO, IITA Business Incubation Platform, Mr. Frederick Schreurs, explained that IITA BIP’s founding objective is to stimulate product development, and provide expertise and training in commercial agriculture and farm management, and opportunities for market expansion, which involves identifying pioneering technologies, developing partnership agreements to leverage their potential, refining them into products, test-marketing these products, training partners in manufacturing and marketing.