As climate change and the pandemic intensify food insecurity and add to food shortages and high prices across sub-Saharan Africa, Simeon Ehui, the 8th Director General of IITA and 1st CGIAR Regional Director for Continental Africa has expressed his commitment towards building on some of the agricultural technologies developed by IITA and the African Development Bank to bridge the technological/research gaps and development for improvement in food security in the continent.
The transitioning Regional Director for Sustainable Development for Africa at the World Bank Group is optimistic about the future of agricultural development in Africa. With his expertise in covering agriculture, environment, social, water, urban, and climate and providing vision, coherence, and focus for sustainable development in West and Central Africa, he hopes to play the lead role as the DG of IITA in ensuring there are no loopholes in terms of using technological innovations to improve agriculture.
In an exclusive interview with radio IITA, Ehui emphasized the vital role that IITA plays towards ensuring a food-secured Africa, “the center is leading the delivery of technologies for different commodities, including cassava, yam, maize, cowpea, and others and no other center can match its expertise and resources” he said.
IITA prioritizes improving crops and livelihoods across sub-Saharan Africa using sophisticated genetic engineering or selective breeding to develop various staple crop varieties for different situations and purposes, which will provide more farmer-preferred traits like higher yields, desired coloration, and adaptability.
Undoubtedly, Ehui’s leadership will drive the development of new technologies, increase yields, and build stronger partnerships across the continent.
Contributed by Jamila Mohammed-Audu