Improving tissue culture technologies for plant survival

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‘‘The potential of temporary immersion bioreactors (TIB) in meeting crop production demands is high and we just stand and its beginning,” says Morufat Balogun, a Tissue Culture Specialist at IITA, working in the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) project. “My role in the project is to optimize TIBs for production of yam seed, which … Read More

Sustainable soil inputs

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“On-farm trails performed in 2013 show that between 30 and 50% of the crop lands are non-responsive to inorganic fertilizer inputs,” says Dries Roobroeck (above, right), a postdoctoral fellow on soil fertility management based in IITA, Nairobi, Kenya. “I work on a project concerning the ‘non-responsiveness’ of maize and soybean cropping systems to inorganic fertilizer inputs, which aligns with the … Read More

Cowpea collection for our children

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“In the IITA Genetic Resource Center (GRC) we hold the world’s largest collection of cowpea, the most important food legume in West and Central Africa,” says Badara Gueye, a cell biologist and physiologist. He manages the in vitro genebank and lab of GRC. “Our genebank maintains this collection in trust for the world, our children, and the children of our … Read More

Tiny deadly insects

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“Whiteflies are one of the top 10 most serious pests that threaten agriculture”, says James Legg, a plant virologist at IITA with more than 20 years experience of working on plant viruses and their insect vectors. James has developed a passion for developing knowledge products in various new media formats, including video and mobile phones. “I like to communicate with … Read More

Forging the ‘chains’ of development

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“Cassava, maize, rice, and wheat! Voilà!” Chrys Akem is referring to the crops the African Development Bank-funded Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC) project ideals with. Chrys is the SARD-SC-project coordinator with many years of experience in breeding and disease control of many crops, fruits, and legumes. “In a nutshell, SARD-SC aims to improve … Read More

Changing climate change with farmers

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‘‘We cannot work with farmers on the causes of climate change but we can work with them on changing some of its impact,” says Laurence Jassogne, Systems Agronomist based at IITA-Uganda and coordinator of a project that is looking at synergies in climate change adaptation and mitigation in coffee and cocoa systems. “There are not many farmers in the areas … Read More

In diet diversity we trust

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“The price of meat, milk, and eggs—this is what most farmers complain about. They are just too expensive for poor farmers,” says Isabel Madzorera, Food Nutritionist based at IITA-Zambia and working with the Making Agricultural Innovations Work for Smallholder Farmers Affected by HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa (MIRACLE) project. MIRACLE covers Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Swaziland. “Farmers do know that they … Read More

Safety first

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“I have seen the devastating effects of aflatoxins on many Kenyan households. Seeing how many lives have been lost, tons of staple food destroyed, millions of shillings wasted, and livelihoods destroyed, I have thus committed my professional career to addressing food safety issues.” As a reward to this commitment, Charity Mutegi, Country Coordinator of IITA’s aflasafe project in Kenya, received … Read More

Message from the Director General – 2013

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Picture of Dr Nteranya Sanginga, Director General

The year 2013 was another vibrant and fulfilling year for IITA. We continued to work towards meeting our objectives and commitments, overcoming many challenges along the way, and making gains in exciting new areas. We completed efforts to reposition IITA for the many ambitious tasks ahead, and made sure that our vision of success is aligned with that of the … Read More

Message from the Board Chair – 2013

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Picture of Dr Bruce Coulman, Chair, Board of Trustees

In 2013, IITA continued its rapid growth in research capacity. The Institute attracted many new projects and partners, increasing its research funding by more than 20% from 2012. To accommodate substantially increased numbers of both international and national staff, the Institute completed or initiated several major infrastructure development projects. The state-of-the-art science building in Dar es Salaam had its official … Read More