IITA is an award-winning, research-for-development (R4D) organization, providing solutions to hunger, poverty, and the degradation of natural resources in Africa. Since 1967, IITA has worked with international and national partners to improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity.
IITA is guided by an ambitious strategy–to lift 11.5 million people out of poverty and revitalize 7.5 million hectares of farmland–by 2020. As one of 15 research centers in the CGIAR, a global partnership for a food secure future, IITA is engaged in several CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs).
IITA has delivered more than 70% of the CGIAR’s impact in sub-Saharan Africa and remains committed to science-driven improvement of agriculture and related food value chains.
Our R4D programs are focused on four crucial areas: Biotechnology and Genetic Improvement, Natural Resource Management, Social Science and Agribusiness, Plant Production and Plant Health and Nutrition and Food Technology.
IITA’s R4D programs have attracted the best and brightest minds from all over the world. Thousands of scientists and professionals have been involved in IITA training and research programs and continue to benefit from the knowledge they have in turn passed on to others.
To help address poverty and the high number of unemployed young men and women in, IITA has initiated a Youth Agripreneurs program to create jobs by making agriculture and agribusiness appealing to the youth. The program is integrated into the Business Incubation Platform (BIP), the technology delivery arm of IITA, which serves as a model to stimulate product development and to provide opportunities for market expansion.
“To offer leading research partnership that facilitates agricultural solutions to hunger, poverty, and natural resource degradation throughout sub-Saharan Africa.”
IITA’s mission is to assure food security for some of the world’s poorest people and provide them with viable strategies that create real, long-term results for economic development and community stability, while building an ecologically sound future that takes into account the issues of climate change. At IITA, we are dedicated to alleviating these problems and working to transform agriculture in Africa.
“The lead research partner facilitating agricultural solutions to overcome hunger and poverty in the tropics.”
IITA sees a bright future for Africa. We see a continent that can become a world leader in agriculture and sustainability. We understand that Africa needs a proactive CGIAR-supported Center that is closely linked to the demands of this continent. Our core beliefs and strategy reflect this.
In line with the new CGIAR, IITA is focused on four System-Level Outcomes described in the Strategic Results Framework.
- Increase food security
- Reduce rural poverty
- Reduce the prevalence of under-nutrition
- Introduce sustainable natural resource management
IITA will advance these System Level Outcomes within five impact zones in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing major staple food yields in target R4D regions by two-thirds. Focusing on cassava, yam, maize, banana and plantain, soybean, and cowpea is the fastest and easiest way to impact farmers and increase the average farm income by half. As rural, farming communities in Africa are among the poorest in the world, these increases will lift over 11 million Africans or almost a fifth of households above the poverty line. Our vision of the future sees the region’s farms commit to restoring natural resources and sustainable farming practices for seven and a half million hectares of degraded farmlands, conserving them for future generations of farmers and food producers.
Looking to 2020 and beyond
IITA operates through decentralized but integrated regional research programs, each working on major agricultural constraints in Africa. We concentrate on crops, farming systems, and maintaining the natural resource base within a flourishing socioeconomic environment. Through the CGIAR Research Programs we will foster innovative partnerships and outscale the technologies developed in sub-Saharan Africa by IITA to the rest of the global tropics. Through a doubling of the current human and financial resources by 2020, we aim to substantially narrow yield gaps of key crops in several African countries in a sustainable manner. We are confident in our ability to deliver on these goals and make a real difference to the people of Africa.