Friday, November 1, 2013

Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, impressed with IITA’s work

L-R: DDG Akuffo-Akoto with Chief Anyaoku
In his first visit to IITA, the former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, said he was impressed with the research being done at IITA and the maintenance of the campus.
Chief Anyaoku was attending the third International Conference on Africa’s Indigenous Stimulants (ICAIS-31), organized by the Oyo State Ministry of Trade and Investment, in Ibadan, but decided to drop by IITA. He met with the Deputy-Director General, Corporate Services, Kwame Akuffo-Akoto and IITA Director, Western Africa, Dr Robert Asiedu.
DDG Akuffo-Akoto and Dr Asiedu explained the Institute’s vision, highlighting the importance of IITA to global food security.
“The work you are doing is important and I must commend you,” the former secretary-general said.
During the tour of the campus, Chief Anyaoku, accompanied by the High Commissioner, High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr Nyahuma Mentuhotep Obika, and the Commissioner for Agriculture for Kogi state in Nigeria, Dr Olufemi Bolarin, spent some time at the Genetic Resources Center.
Dr Michael Abberton, Head of the GRC, explained the benefit of the genebank to research and food security. He likened the genebank to a financial bank and its importance in the conservation of biodiversity.
The commissioner for agriculture commended IITA for its work on improving the productivity of Africa’s key staple crops. In particular, he recalled that improved varieties from the Institute were improving the productivity of cassava in his state, and that most of those varieties helped farmersto tackle pests and diseases challenging cassava production in his area.
Chief Anyaoku’s contact with IITA was facilitated by the Head of Resource Mobilization and External Relations, Mrs Toyin Oke.

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