China’s Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences(CATAS) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture(IITA) in Nigeria have begun a partnership to improve food security and also create jobs for the growing youth population in Africa.
China will use the new partnership to deepen collaboration with Africa in the area of agricultural development with the cooperation of the IITA.
CATAS, the agency promoting the collaboration with the IITA, described the partnership as a win-win situation for both China and Africa, especially in the quest for food sufficiency.
The IITA is a non-profit organisation founded in 1967 in Nigeria and governed by a board of trustees. It is also one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions to hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
According to the institute, it works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture.
Confirming the partnership, the Head of Communication (IITA) Katherine Lopez said under the proposed framework for CATAS and the IITA collaboration, both parties agreed to work together on crop improvement especially cassava, banana/plantain, spices, vegetables and cocoa.
The framework would also see Africa-China student and researcher exchange programmes that would engender learning and capacity development, she added.
Other areas include but are not limited to ‘germplasm’ exchange and upstream research such as the development of molecular markers, genomics, mechanisation, and breeding of cassava resistant to cassava mosaic disease and cold tolerant cassava varieties, according to the statement.
The IITA-CATAS collaboration is part of the IITA’s strategy to deepen partnership between the North and the South.
Receiving a delegation from CATAS, the Director-General of IITA, Nteranya S