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IITA DG identifies challenges facing Nigeria’s agriculture

by Business News Report

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) says the major challenges facing Nigerian agriculture are crop diseases, post harvest losses and poor soil health.The Deputy Director General of IITA, Dr Lakshmi Menon, on Tuesday in Ibadan told a team of military officers from the National Defence College (NDC) that the institute was helping to tackle the challenges.
Menon said most of IITA’s research was geared toward bringing economic prosperity and food security to the people and countries it worked with. Speaking on soil health, she said the pressure on Nigerian soil and those of many countries in Africa was enormous leading to depletion in soil nutrients. Lakshmi said this had resulted in many farmers not getting the expected yield from the soil after planting their seeds. “IITA develops soil nutrients capable of improving soil health and value so that resource poor farmers can get something good from the soil,’’ she said. Menon also noted that some varieties of crops used by farmers in the country were not disease-resistant. She said many similar diseased varieties in Africa cross porous borders, causing havoc to farm lands and damage to harvests.
Menon said the institute had introduced disease-resistant varieties to destroy the diseases and save crops. She also said the challenge of post-harvest losses was awesome in most parts of Africa, adding that the institute had introduced technology and solutions that made it possible to process and preserve harvests to enjoy longer shelf life.

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