President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has lauded the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for its contributions toward youths’ entrepreneurship in Africa’s agriculture and furthering the course of food security in the continent.
Adesina who made the commendation at a reception organized to celebrate his feats stated that the work being done at the institute is worthy of emulation and it’s a pointer for every nation and development institutes in Africa.
In his words, “We need disruptive innovations to deal with the big crisis that we are experiencing which is why you see me making this particular case about youth entrepreneurs.
“I am so proud of IITA youth entrepreneurs and the work they do; it is evident in their passion and their commitment towards the work they do.
“I see the commitment you have, but most importantly, the examples you set because you are an example to a generation that is looking to see what God has described out of the continent,” he said.
The AfDB’s President revealed that the IITA had been on a strategic mission to fast-track agriculture in Africa, even before the plan to resuscitate the sector began. He said the institute was instrumental in the establishment and functioning of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).
He also commended the Institute for alleviating the drought challenges faced by over two million farmers in the Southern part of the continent. “I want to appreciate IITA for the great work being done on the TAAT platformed which allowed 2.8 million farmers have water-efficient maize that helped them make it through the drought, thanks to you.”
Adesina further assured that the AfDB will continue to increase its support for the IITA, adding that the institute is set to play a crucial role in the establishment of the Special Agro-Processing Zones (SAPZ) across the continent.