IITA Bulletin No. 2201

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  • 8/13/2019 IITA Bulletin No. 2201



    Issue No. 2201 25-29 November 2013


    Got a story to share? Please email it with photos and captions to Andrea Gros (a.gros@cgiar.org), Katherine Lopez (k.lopez@

    cgiar.org), Jeffrey T. Oliver (j.oliver@cgiar.org), Godwin Atser (g.atser@cgiar.org), or Catherine Njuguna (c.njuguna@cgiar.org).

    Board commends IITA Management team




    Refreshed IITA strategy aims to raise 11 million out of poverty, restore 7.5million hectares of degraded land

    The International Institute of TropicalAgriculture has refreshed its strategy,with a vision of raising 11 million peopleout of poverty in the tropics and alsoredirecting 7.5 million ha of degraded landinto sustainable use.

    The refreshed strategy has been approved bythe IITA Board of Trustees and emphasizesthe need for scientic research to achieveresults at the farm level

    In Ibadan, addressing more than 200 nationaland international scientists during the week-long annual planning week (otherwise knownas Research-for-Development Week), Dr

    Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General,called on scientists to ensure that the outcomeof their research is creating this favorableimpact.

    In his presentation, Its time for IITA, DrSanginga gave a picture of the constraintsto development in the tropics, particularly inAfrica. He highlighted factors such as poornatural resource management (soils, water,and biodiversity), yield gaps, postharvest

    losses, and pests and diseases as majorconstraints to the growth of the region.The unfolding scenario has placed

    responsibility on IITA as a research Institute

    to help tropical nations to overcome thechallenges.

    Everyone is looking up to IITA to providesolutions to food insecurity in Africa, hesaid.

    Dr Sanginga who assumed ofce two yearsago also gave a progress report, highlightingthe successes recorded, the problems, andthe task ahead.

    During the period, the Institutes researchreputation soared to a record high.Three scientists were honored for their

    achievements. Dr Charity Mutegi wonthe 2013 Norman Borlaug Award for FieldResearch and Application; Dr Georg Goergenwas honored by eminent international fruit

    y taxonomists of the Royal Museum forCentral Africa, Tervuren, Belgium (MRAC)and the Natural History Museum, London,England; Dr Tahirou Abdoulaye receivedan award from the Purdue University for

    protecting precious cowpea grain frompests in storage. Funding to the Institutehas doubled and the number of scientic

    publications in high impact factor journalshas risen.

    Central to the growth is also the upgrade inhuman and infrastructural resources. In thelast two years, a modern Science Buildinghas been built and commissioned in Dar esSalaam, Tanzania; the IITA headquartersin Ibadan has gone through a remarkableupgrade. The Institute has also begun theconstruction of the building in the SouthernAfrica Hub. Staff welfare has also receivedclose attention while attention is being givento retaining and motivating excellence.

    Dr Sanginga said that the growth of theInstitute had never compromised researchquality but emphasized that researchersshould not rest on their laurels but ensurethat delivery is sustained.

    There is no excuse we must deliver anddeliver, he said.

    The Board of Trustees of the InternationalInstitute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)has commended the Management team ofIITA under the leadership of Dr NteranyaSanginga for the excellent management ofthe Institute.

    Addressing staff during a Town Hallmeeting in Ibadan, Chair of the Board,

    Dr Bruce Coulman said, IITA is well-managed.

    We are very impressed with the growth ofthe institute And IITA is fortunate to havedynamic leader, he added.

    The verdict of the Board received a loudovation from staff.

    Dr Coulman reiterated that the research

    by the Institute is relevant and clearlydemonstrates that IITA is Africas agriculturalresearch leader.

    The Town Hall meeting also witnessedthe recognition of scientists who havedistinguished themselves in variousdisciplines and the presentation of awards todeserving staff.

    BoT Chair Coulman addresses staff during Town Hall meeting in Ibadan

  • 8/13/2019 IITA Bulletin No. 2201


    page 2IITA Bulletin 2201

    Addressing the capacity gaps in AfricaDirector General (Partnerships andCapacity Development). He highlightedthe abysmally low number of scientists

    per million of population in sub-SaharanAfrican countries.

    While China has 1071 researchers per

    million people; Ethiopia, Mozambique,and Togo have (each) less than 50 scientistsper million.

    Dr Dashiell said part of the reason why thePCD Directorate was created was to helpaddress this gap through training.

    The Directorate comprises thefollowing Ofces: Communication,Project Administration, PartnershipsCoordination, Proposal Development, andCapacity Development.

    The Deputy Director General highlightedthe achievements of the Directorate andalso introduced the Business IncubationPlatform (BIP)a new initiative under theDirectorate that will provide opportunitiesfor scaling up technology with a privatesector perspective in view.

    The need for partnerships and capacitydevelopment was brought to the foreduring a thought-provoking presentation

    by Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy

    More than 200 researchers in Ibadan for R4D

    About 200 scientists and staffconverged on Ibadan between 25 and29 November for the 2013 annual planningweek, otherwise known as Research-for-Development Week (R4D Week).

    Researchers and staff were welcomed bythe Deputy Director General (Research),Dr Ylva Hillbur, who also gave a summaryof activities for the week.

    She explained that the event was aimedat promoting interactions and knowledge

    sharing among staff, and collectivelyplanning ahead.

    This years theme for the week-long

    event was It is IITAs time. The themewas adopted from pronouncements earliermade by the Vice Chair of IITA Boardof Trustees, John Grifth, during theceremony of laying the foundation stonefor the IITA building for the SouthernAfrica Hub in Zambia.

    The week provided opportunity forresearchers to make presentations oncurrent programs and projects, discussnew initiatives, hold workshops on specic

    research themes and CGIAR ResearchPrograms, present posters, hold meetings,and socialize.

    Hillbur welcomes staff



    Melba Mussagy,AgroenterpriseDeve lopmen tSpecialist This yearsR4D Week was,in my opinion,

    better than last years in terms of thescientic content. However, I think the

    poster presentations could have been betterorganized. Probably next year, make the

    poster sessions a mandatory activity thatpeople must attend and appreciate.

    G e z a h e g nT e s s e m a ,A s s o c i a t eP r o f e s s i o n a lOfce R4DWeek is a goodopportunity forus to know whatother scientistsin the differentstations and Hubsare doing. This

    bringing togetherof professionals is very educational,especially for the new staff.

    Y u k i k oK a s h i h a r a ,

    P o s t d o c t o r a lFellow - YamBreeder Apart from thechance to meetdifferent IITAscientists from

    the various stations of IITA and knowwhat they are doing, R4D Week givesus a great opportunity to see where wecould collaborate with other researchers,especially in the same eld. I liked the

    poster session, I think it is better organized

    than last years session.

    Debo AkandeThe meetinghas been veryinteresting and aneye opener for meas a new scientist.The R4D Week

    provides theopportunity forme to understandthe mode of

    operations ofIITA and also gives a deep insight in my

    program and other projects as well.

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    page 3IITA Bulletin 2201

    IITA must deliver to remain on top says theDirector of Finance

    The Director of Finance, Mr OmoshalewaSholola, has said that IITA had a strongnancial base with positive growth rate

    but added a caveat that researchers mustfully implement projects for the Instituteto sustain its growth.

    While giving nancial updates on thepast, present, and future, Mr Shololadescribed 2013 as a successful year forIITA, emphasizing that projections were

    in line with targets.We are doing pretty well, he said.

    What is ready, what is cooking?

    The Corporate Services Directorategave progress report to scientists andother staff at the 2013 R4D week in Ibadan.

    Mr Kwame Akuffo-Akoto, DeputyDirector General (Corporate Services) gavea presentation, Providing cost-effectivesupport services to impact-driven research:What is ready and what is cooking, to

    highlight the achievements made by eachof the Units under the Directorate.

    Some of the achievements include theupgrade of staff, review of per-diemand travel policy, refurbishment ofinfrastructure and labs, and improvementin internet services, among others.

    Mr Akuffo-Akoto reafrmed thecommitment of the Directorate to givegreater attention to staff welfare andmorale, and to keep up the refurbishment

    of the Institutes infrastructure andlaboratory facilities. The Directoratecomprises the following components:Hubs Administration, FacilitiesManagement Services, Human ResourcesServices, Supply Chain, Information andCommunication Technology, Hotel andCatering, and Security and Plant Protection.


    Kenneth Oraegbunam unfolds IITA E-Research Roadmap

    To harness the power of advancedInformation and CommunicationTechnologies, IITA is developing aroadmap on E-Research.

    Kenneth Oraegbunam, Senior TechnicalAnalyst, explained that the vision is todevelop an infrastructure for m