The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has renamed its Kalambo research Station which has been in existence since 1974 located in South-Kivu Province, in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo after the Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The contribution of Dr Obasanjo to agricultural research not only in Nigeria but also in Africa at large and the Zero Hunger initiative He is spearheading has made IITA honoured him by renaming their institute “The President Olusegun Obasanjo Research Campus”. This honour was presented by His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mr Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo.
According to IITA, the sustained support HE Olusegun Obasanjo has given to IITA, in garnering technical and financial partners for IITA earned him this honour; And because of this, the IITA Board of Trustees has decided to name the research station after him.
IITA also added that aside renaming the Research station, a new building which will consist of new facilities and a state-of-the-art biotechnology laboratory will also be commissioned. A top-class tissue culture lab will also be added to the new campus; and this is intended to multiply clean and disease-free planting materials of cassava, banana, yam, cocoa, and potato. A soil and plant analytical laboratory, sol microbiology unit, molecular lab, a product, processing unit, and training facilities are amongst facilities added to the rebranded institute.
As a member of CGIAR, a global partnership for a food-secure future, IITA operates in DRC to ensure food and nutritional security to neighbouring countries in the region including Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, and Uganda; as well as the sound management of natural resources with support from numerous financial and technical partners involved in the agricultural sector to promote income-generating activities.
IITA Director-General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, said: “This science facility in DR Congo will be dedicated to IITA and partners’ mission of fighting hunger and poverty in the continent and will contribute towards boosting agricultural productivity and building the research and development capacity in DR Congo and the region.”