The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has said it plans to work with the Taraba State government to transform cassava in the framework of the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT) programme.
The decision is part of a two-day visit to Taraba State, which ended today and witnessed the inauguration of the Cassava Compact, a component of the TAAT, training of extension agents, and sites selection and validation for the establishment of cassava demonstration plots.
Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General, said the inauguration of the Cassava Compact of the TAAT in Taraba would open the door for the scaling of new innovations to cassava growers to the state and north east region of Nigeria.
Dr Sanginga, who was represented by Godwin Atser, IITA Communication & Knowledge Exchange Expert, said the transformation of cassava in Taraba State offered tremendous opportunities in food security and job creation.
“We hope that this programme will contribute to reducing the food import bill to Africa of about $35 billion per year,” he added.
The move to invest more in north east Nigeria comes at a time when.
Taraba State governor, Mr Darius Ishaku, commended IITA and AfDB for selecting Taraba as part of the TAAT-Cassava Compact programme, adding that it would amplify the efforts of the state government in cassava transformation, and revitalise agricultural activities in the state.
“While we remain grateful to AfDB and IITA for the kind gesture and honour done to the state, I wish to also pledge that Taraba State Government will do its best to ensure the success of the program in the state,” Governor Ishaku, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Anthony Jellason, said.