FUNAI, IITA TO PARTNER ON RESEARCH, AGRICULTURE, OTHERS
The Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State is to partner the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State in multi areas that cover Research, Agriculture, Staff and Students’ Training and Agricultural Research Proposal Development.
This was made known recently when the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba visited the institute to discuss possible areas of mutual beneficial partnership between the two organizations.
Welcoming the FUNAI delegation, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, the Deputy Director General of the institute, noted that there were many possible areas the two organizations could collaborate. He stressed that the vision of IITA was to transform agriculture in Africa, adding, that with no staff in Ebonyi State, IITA can only impact farmers in the State through Partnerships, thus emphasizing the importance of a possible partnership with the university.
Speaking further through Dr. Robert Asiedu, R4D Direct, West Africa in company of Dr. Alfred Dixon, Director, Partnerships for Delivery Office and Dr. Michael Abberton, Head, Genetic Resource Center, the Deputy Director General pledged to partner with the university in different areas of mutual interests especially in moving Agriculture and Agricultural research forward in the southeastern part of Nigeria, especially in Ebonyi State.
Given the low level of improved cassava adoption in the southeast, he also expressed the commitment of IITA towards making FUNAI its partner in extending cassava technologies (under TAAT) in the region, adding that the institute would participate in the upcoming international conference on hidden hunger to be held in the university this year. He also noted that IITA would collaborate with the university for the purpose of extending improved varieties of seeds and other Agricultural technologies to the southeastern part of Nigeria.
The Deputy Director General further promised to link the university’s Directorate of Research and Development with IITA Project Development Unit and equally give the University access to its e-library, urging the university to also set up units in charge of technical, legal, and financial services in proposal development and project implementation, if not yet on ground, for easy collaboration between the two organizations.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nwajiuba expressed his appreciation to the institute’s management for their willingness to collaborate with the university. He also used the opportunity to inform them that the Faculty of Agriculture in the university was new and at the stage where it is necessary to set the right culture for it.
“It is with a view to do things differently that FUNAI desires to collaborate with IITA in capacity building of staff, training of students, and extending agricultural technologies to farmers. We are young, we are open to new ideas and we are willing to learn”, he concluded.
He further assured the institute that FUNAI has enough farmland for collaborative partnership on Agricultural trials, adding that the University is also currently working on its policy on commercialization of technology.
The Vice-Chancellor was accompanied to the visit by the Director of Academic Planning, Professor Dr. Jonny Ogunji, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Dr.Tina Igberi, Director of CEDAMPAT, Mr. Chris Uwadoka and Dr. Makuachukwu Ojide of the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences.