By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Director, Department of Agriculture and Agro-Industry of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Martin Fregene has hinted that the bank is to raise the productivity of African, Nigerian and Tanzanian farmers
Dr Fregene stated this in Ibadan on Thursday while speaking at the launching of an Economically Sustainable and Integrated Cassava Seed System, phase 2, (BASIC-II) project of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
Dr Fregene stressed that AfDB through its flagship project, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), was excited to be part of BASICS-II “to ensure the best varieties are put in the hands of farmers as soon as possible”.
“BASICS-II will not only raise the productivity of African and Nigerian and Tanzanian farmers, but it will improve productivity along the value chain and make cassava to be a good business for anyone to invest in”, he said.
Dr Fregene then urged the project managers to maximize public private partnerships to achieve maximum success and impact.
Speaking, the Executive Director of PIND, Dr. Dara Akala, assured that the Foundation would help BASICS-II outlive its duration in the Niger Delta, adding, “everything we do in PIND is centered around partnerships and partnerships is at the core of what we have achieved in the Niger Delta”.
“Our collaboration with NRCRI Umudike towards the end of BASICS-I led to the pool of Village Seed Entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta.So, we are committed to partnering with BASICS-II to consolidate and scale up the results of those initial efforts made in BASICS-I.”
Dr Akala maintained that PIND’s partnership with BASICS-II would broker an economically sustainable and commercially viable seed system in the Niger Delta.
“PIND being an institution and not a program that will end in five years’ time, we are here in the Niger Delta region to sustain the results of BASICS-II as we served as the exit strategy for BASICS,” .