ICRISAT and IITA strengthen cooperation for the Sahel Region
Deputy Director General, Partnership for Delivery of IITA visits ICRISAT in Mali
Dr, Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General, Partnership for Delivery, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) visited ICRISAT in Mali on 11th April to meet with Dr. Ramadjita Tabo, Regional Director, ICRISAT-West and Central Africa.
Dr Dashiell congratulated ICRISAT for winning the Africa Food Prize Award in 2021 prior to being briefed by Dr. Tabo about ICRISAT’s progress in the region with regards to crop improvements through modernizing breeding infrastructure.
Dr Dashiell was also apprised on ICRISAT's research program, structured under three areas, Accelerated Crop Improvement, Enabling Systems Transformation and Resilient Farm and Food Systems -managed by three Global Program Directors and two Regional Directors in East and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa.
As part of its ongoing partnership efforts in the Sahel region, Dr Tabo reiterated that ICRISAT and IITA are both involved in the implementation of the AfDB funded TAAT (Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation) program.
ICRISAT is currently hosting a team of IITA staff in Bamako and Niamey who are in charge of the implementation of the CSAT project (Climate Smart Agriculture Technologies) funded by the Embassy of Norway. This team is also benefiting from the contribution of scientists from ICRISAT in the arena of breeding and monitoring.
Dr Dashiell was also briefed about the new leadership at ICRISAT, including the appointment of Director General, Dr Jacqueline Hughes and Deputy Director General-Research, Dr. Arvind Kumar, the celebration of ICRISAT's 50th Anniversary and the upcoming International Year of Millets in 2023.
"With its new research structure, the Institute continues to bring its scientific expertise to the fore with the approval of SERVIR 2 WA - a 5-year 15 million dollar project funded by USAID to be implemented in six countries in West Africa namely Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal" said. Dr. Tabo.
Dr. Dashiell reiterated that ICRISAT is its key partner in the drylands and emphasized the role of the natural synergies between ICRISAT and IITA operating in the region.
He stressed the need to continue to improve collaboration through joint project proposal development and project delivery.
Following his meeting with ICRISAT Regional Director, Dr Dashiell met with the IITA team in Mali, hosted at the campus in Samanko.
“IITA has a long productive partnership with ICRISAT. Dr. Tabo and I have been working together since 1991 in Kano, Nigeria. Congratulations to the ICRISAT team in Mali for their excellent work” wrote Dr. Kenton Dashiell (who was a soybean breeder based at IITA-Ibadan and Dr Tabo, Agronomist based at ICRISAT-Kano at that time) in the ICRISAT visitors book.
During their meeting, Dr Tabo and Dr Dashiell were joined by Dr. Tahirou Abdoulaye (Director, IITA Sahel Africa Hub and manager of the CSAT Mali and Niger projects), and Ms Agathe Diama, Senior Manager, Regional Communications and Information.