In sub-Saharan Africa, where millions depend on agriculture not only for food but also for their livelihoods, IITA’s research provides solutions to hunger, poverty and natural resource degradation.
IITA’s reinvigorated Strategy for 2011-2020 focuses on research that increases food security through expanding food production and availability. Working with Africa’s primary staple crops – banana and plantain, cassava, cowpea, maize, soybean, and yam – IITA is tasked with the following:
- Increasing food crop yields by 60%, which will increase farmers’ incomes by 50%.
- Extracting more value from the agricultural sector in this way reduces rural poverty and will lift 15% of poor households, over 11 million Africans, above the poverty line.
- Combating poor nutrition, with the aim of reducing the number of malnourished children by 30%.
- Restoring fragile, arable lands through more sustainable management of natural resources, aiming to recover and revitalize almost eight million hectares of badly degraded farmlands.
IITA’s core business, in line with CGIAR, is research for development. At state-of-the-art research facilities in different agro-ecological regions in sub-Saharan Africa, IITA scientists specialize in ground-breaking projects focused on key research themes. These include the following:
- Biotechnology and Genetic Improvement
- Natural Resource Management
- Social Science and Agribusiness
- Plant Production and Health Management
- Nutrition and Food Technology
IITA has already had a major impact on livelihoods across the African continent and works to guarantee food security, reduce poverty, and protect the environment while ensuring that the poor and especially women, benefit from our interventions. With our numerous breakthroughs, IITA is not only revolutionizing how staple crops are grown and how agricultural research is conducted but is also nourishing Africa.