HE General Yakubu Gowon

Former Head of State, Nigeria

Picture of HE General Yakubu Gowon

HE General Yakubu Gowon

I have a very close relationship with this Institute coupled with memories of how I managed to formally commission it in December of 1969. During that time the late Governor Gen. Adebayo had to do a lot of the work to get the land and the compensation for the communities who were originally settled on the land on which IITA is currently located. The negotiations had to be done carefully, but also in a timely fashion because otherwise we would have missed the opportunity to have the Institute located here in Ibadan. Other locations that were being considered were countries like Kenya. Thank God all went well and we were able to have the institution established in Nigeria.

The impact IITA has had, certainly for Nigeria has been immense! But really this great work spreads to other African countries too. The research that IITA has done over the years has been very good and its outputs have been adopted widely throughout the continent. Congratulations to IITA for 50 years of success. I am also glad to have lived 50 years with the institution!

Sen. Abdullahi Adamu

Chair, Senate Committee on Agriculture

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Sen. Abdullahi Adamu

We are happy and privileged that IITA has been here for the past 50 years. As a senate committee, we are committed to support (through appropriate legislation) the work that institutions like IITA are doing in Nigeria to ensure that the agriculture sector is strengthened. IITA has done well in delivering its mandate. Since becoming the Chair of the Agricultural Committee, I have had the privilege to visit this institution at least five times and it is from these visits and interactions with the staff at the institute that I got to appreciate IITA’s work.

Dr Jimmy Smith

Director General, International
Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

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Dr Jimmy Smith

My relationship with IITA dates back to the 1990s when I was a young scientist with the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), a predecessor of ILRI and I was based in this campus here in Ibadan So I feel pretty much at home coming back to IITA. ILRI and IITA have always had a close relationship as crops and livestock are closely integrated in Africa. We work very well together on a range of issues, particularly how to raise the productivity of farmers in Africa and how you improve livelihoods through agricultural activities One of the things you must do in Africa to tackle food insecurity and reduce poverty is to increase the productivity of farmers. IITA and ILRI have always hosted each other in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, and here in Ibadan. It is said that life begins at 40, but in this case, we’d say life begins at 50 and we look forward to continuing working with IITA effectively in future. From ILRI we wish the Chair of the Board, the Director General, and all the IITA staff the very best wishes for the future.

Dr Yemi Akinbamijo

Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa

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Dr Yemi Akinbamijo

I commend the Government of Nigeria for the unflinching support to IITA and agricultural transformaton. I commend the different donors and development partners that support the IITA Dream. The vision as we can see today is a dream come true. Welcome to the Future. Truly a child is borne by one woman but it will take the community to raise the child. This is what we celebrate today.

It is unthinkable that we can win the battle against food and nutrition insecurity without science…Dr Kanayo Nwanze, said that “Agriculture is too important to be outsourced.” This is what we had done for 50 years and our agricultural goals and expectations will quickly become a frustrating mirage if we do not give due attention to science and technology… FARA looks forward to a stronger symbiotic catalysis into the future. Long live IITA! Long live Nigeria! Long live the food and nutrition secure Africa!