At Media Day, IITA advocates innovation to attract youths into agric

Developing creative methods that would attract young people to agriculture has been described as the impetus needed to attract youth to agriculture and end rising unemployment in the continent.

Deputy Director General, Partnership for Delivery, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Kenton Dashiell, disclosed this to Journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State, during the 2017 Media Day, which form part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of IITA scheduled for July 24, 2017.

Dashiell said addressing the food insecurity question in Africa required collective efforts from the different institutions operating in Africa, stressing that the institute couldn’t succeed in isolation.

He underpinned the importance of creativity in packaging and dissemination of information on agricultural innovation in a way and manner that would attract youth into agriculture, and clear illusions about the sector.

“Our message is this-agriculture is the way to become wealthy. But this cannot happen if it is practiced the way our parents did. Fortunately, IITA has advanced technologies that if used could make farming very profitable and fun for farmers.”

The Media Day was a time for IITA to appreciate the invaluable contribution of the press to the Institute in the past 50 years. It was the first time the Institute would engage members of the press for a full day, showcasing its facilities, projects, and its direction for the next 50 years.

Chairman of the anniversary Organising Committee and Director, Systems and Site Integration, Dr Kwesi Atta-Krah, said in the last 50 years, IITA had stood with the people by providing agricultural solutions that address the constraints to Africa’s agricultural development.

“And because we are truly people-centric, our goal in the last 50 years has always been to make living more fulfilling for even the poorest of the poor farming households. Even now, IITA will not stop. The Institute will continue to join hands with relevant stakeholders to do its best to transform agricultural practices to be able to transform Africa,” Atta-Krah explained.

Established 1967, IITA is a leader in agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa. Innovations from the Institute have translated to better nourishment, food security, and livelihood-generating activities for millions of Africans.

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