The Benue Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to boost quality yields and the economy of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MoU was signed by Gov. Samuel Ortom and Dr Ken Dashiell, Deputy Director-General , Partnership for Delivery of IITA, on Friday in Abuja.
Ortom said that the state needs to have working experience with IITA in Agriculture, adding that signing of the MoU would add value and support the state.
“I am happy about the IITA programme because they are looking at all value chain and that is what we stand for too.
“Benue state has been food basket of the nation, making wealth for other people by carry our products from the state to other states and not much returns to build our economy.
“ We have identified this, that is why we want different organisation to come to Benue state to invest.
Responding, Dr Ken Dashiell said that the Benue state government heard about the activities of IITA for the first time during the visit of advocacy of Zero Hunger project teams to Benue last month.
“It was there the governor heard about what IITA is doing in Nigeria and made a decision of coming to Abuja to meet with the IITA to start working in Benue to boost food productions.
“ The state government wants IITA to introduce some of its technology to promote Benue because they want higher yield for their farmers and develop their economy.
“Benue wants training for different aspect of their varieties, they want IITA to set youth agriculture entrepreneur programme that IITA has successfully done and replicated in several parts of the country.
Dashiell said, “they also want us set up mechanism for the state to start producing their seed instead of going out to get adulterated seeds.
“They want it started as soon as possible, as soon as the stuff is sign, the implementation will start immediately’’.
Mr Adewale Ajadi, Synergos Nigeria Country Director, said that the synergos was there to felicitate with the good people of Benue on the signing of an MoU between state government and IITA for the development of yam value chain.
“ We are happy with state government, especially on the aspect of seed productions, because quality seeds will bring quality yields and it will definitely increase the farmers income.
“We are really glad as government is coming out to take step to ensure and promote productions of yam in Benue as one of the key crop in the state.