AfDB, AGRA, PIND back IITA’s BASICS-II project
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged support for the newly launched Building an Economically sustainable and Integrated Cassava Seed System, phase 2, (BASIC-II) project of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
Speaking at the project’s launch last Thursday, the Director, Department of Agriculture and Agro-industry of the AfDB, Dr Martin Fregene, stated that the development bank, through its flagship project, Technologies or African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), was excited to be part of BASICS-II project “to ensure the best varieties are put in the hands of farmers as soon as possible”.
The project which was launched at the IITA headquarters in Ibadan, with key participants, including Dr Fregene attending virtually via Zoom, is aimed at creating “more efficient dissemination of cassava stems that would trigger the adoption of new varieties to improve productivity; raise incomes of cassava growers and seed entrepreneurs; enhance gender equity, and contribute to inclusive agricultural transformation in Nigeria and Tanzania.”
Implementing partners include (Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA); Catholic Relief Services; IITA GoSeed; Umudike Seed; Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI); SAHEL Consulting; Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), and the National Root Crops Research Institute in Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.
BASICS-II project will also work with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND Foundation).
While PIND pledged to be the project’s sustainability platform in the Niger Delta of Nigeria; AGRA will help the project’s replication in other states in Nigeria as well as other African countries.
In Dr Fregene’s words, BASICS-II project “will not only raise the productivity of African and Nigerian and Tanzanian farmers, but it will improve productivity along the value chain and make cassava to be a good business for anyone to invest in”.
He urged the project managers to maximize public-private partnerships to achieve maximum success and impact.
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