Vice President (VP) Kashim Shettima, has assured the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) of Federal Government’s partnership towards ensuring food security in the country.
Shettima gave the assurance when he received in audience the IITA delegation led by its Director-General (D-G) and Regional Director for Africa, Simeon Ehui, at the Presidential Villa, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that President Tinubu’s administration would give all the necessary support and assistance to ensure food security and enhance agricultural practice that would produce enough food for the citizenry.
“There has to be a paradigm shift. Our agricultural output is low compared to our population and there is even the unfriendly environmental factors to deal with.
“So, this is a time for change and I want to give you the guarantee that my boss is with you and he will solidly support you to execute your mandate.
“My boss, President Bola Tinubu, is a man of courage and conviction and he has determined to reposition the nation more than ever before.”
He commended the IITA team for the many successes recorded in the agricultural sector in the West African region.
Shettima also praised IITA for doing well in the production of certain agricultural produce such as “cassava, yam and soya beans”.
The VP, who stated further that IITA has an iconic presence in Ibadan and West Africa, assured that the country must maximize the benefits which the institution can bring to bear on the agricultural sector in the country.
“Your own mantra is about the increase in agricultural yields and what tools can be used to improve such yields; ensure seed quality and availability, sound agricultural practices, fertilizer, and most importantly market accessibility”
“These are not rocket science, these are real and of course, if we can have very sound and environmentally friendly irrigation mechanism that will enhance our farm outputs, we can achieve our objectives.
“So, I want to give you my candid assurance that by my training, by my inclination as an agricultural economist and as a banker by profession, we can definitely engage with you.”
Shettima lauded the institution for its reputation and international best practices, noting that the “Federal Government can effortlessly do business with you”.
Earlier, the IITA D-G, Ehui, thanked the Federal Government for its support to IITA over the years, disclosing that it has expanded across many states in the country.