IITA urges institute to collaborate with varsities on food production
Prof. Lateef Sanni of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has urged the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI) to collaborate with universities and other research institutes to bridge the gap in food security.
Sanni said this in Ilorin, Kwara State, while speaking at a two-day in-house Review Meeting of NSPRI with the theme, ‘Innovative Post-Harvest Research: A Sustainable Approach for Achieving Food Security in Nigeria.’
The professor of food science and technology said the collaboration would further enhance the skills of the staff of the institute, who were contributing to reducing post-harvest losses.
“NSPRI staff can enhance their skills more if they collaborate with universities because we have different mandates and interests and skills, hence the need to work together, either South-South, South-East or even outside the country’s collaboration.
“It will help us to disseminate and fine tune some of the technologies we have to assure the Nigerian populace that we can stabilise the food security,” Sanni said.
He added that there should be collaboration of stakeholders and other research institutes to make the research outputs developed by NSPRI accessible and affordable.
“We have some of the research outputs in NSPRI, but most of these outputs are not known outside except in the institute’s locations and very few villages.
“Hence, all of us need to collaboratively work together in how to scale the technology to the extent that they will reach millions of our stakeholders.
“This is because that is the only way one will be assured that there will be availability of the technology that will also ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of the products going to the market,” he said.
Executive Director of NSPRI, Dr Patricia Pessu, said the meeting was an avenue for researchers in the institute to present their work within the period under review and for stakeholders using NSPRI technologies to give feedback.
Pessu added that the theme of the meeting couldn’t be more appropriate because for agriculture to be transformed from a mere activity to an agri-business, research had to be in the forefront.