22 March 2014

Tanzania: More Research in Agriculture Needed to Eradicate Poverty

GOVERNMENT over the last three years invested over 25bn/- in research, especially on agriculture products, as one way of eradicating poverty.

This was said recently by the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga, during a meeting which brought together agriculture experts from the world's leading partnership in agriculture research.

The meeting which was hosted by IITA and CGIAR, a global partner that unites organisations engaged in research for a food secure future, brought together a consortium board and director generals of all 15 international centres that make up the CGIAR consortium.

Dr Sanginga said that in response to specific development needs, IITA works with research and development partners (research, development and extension actors, farmer organisations, NGOs, the private sector and governments) to deliver research outputs that are achieving an initial outcome.

He said that the 15 international agricultural research centres work in collaboration with hundreds of partner organisations worldwide, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organisations to achieve a more sustainable management of natural resources.

Dr Sanginga said that IITA's biological control programme resulted in a 95 per cent reduction in cassava mealy bug damage and a 50 per cent reduction in damage caused by the cassava green mite. "Cassava is a very important food and income security crop for over 80 million farmers in the tropics.

We are also looking to it to help our farmers cope with climate change as it is able to withstand harsh conditions such as drought and poor soils.

However, for this to happen we need to control the spread of these two diseases. And one of the most sustainable ways to do so is to develop varieties that have dual resistance," he said.

On his part, the CGIAR Chief Executive Officer, Frank Rijsberman, said that sustainable agricultural development requires research across agricultural science, natural resource management and policy.

He said that sustainable agricultural development requires research across agricultural science, natural resource management and policy, adding that their strategy and result framework is their road map to sustainable agricultural development.

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