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FAO commends IITA on Cassava Value Chain Development project
28 April 2010

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has lauded IITA for effectively implementing the Cassava Value Chain Development project in West Africa.

The project, funded by the Common Fund for Commodities and implemented by IITA and partners, seeks to contribute to sustainable improvements in welfare and livelihood of farmers and processors in the cassava sector, at the same time enhancing food security particularly in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Republic of Benin.

The FAO Supervisory Body (FAO-SB) led by Adams Prakash expressed satisfaction with the progress of the implementation of the project's components, especially the on-time commissioning of the processing centers given the logistical and communication constraints in the region.

He also commended Lateef Sanni, IITA-CFC Project Leader, and his team for effectively coordinating the project.

Contained in a 20-page report, Prakash said staff of IITA and the national implementing partners should be cited for their hard work and dedication towards realizing the project’s goals.

Also of interest to the FAO-SB was the continued relevance and potential impact of the project in alleviating rural poverty through sustainable market-led initiatives.

The FAO-SB report also gave kudos to the provision of opportunities for farmers and villagers to participate in value chains to improve livelihoods.

The report was based on an FAO-SB monitoring mission carried out from 4 to 10 February 2010. The exercise involved field visits to the project sites in Sierra Leone and two of the three sites in Nigeria.

In Sierra Leone, the monitoring team visited the sites in Bo, Moyamba, Bombali, Port Loko, and Western Rural districts; while in Nigeria, the team inspected the sites in Kuje, Abuja, and Joe Beg Bajju in Nassarawa State.

During the field visits, members of the FAO-SB also held discussions with project stakeholders, beneficiaries, and IITA and local implementing partner representatives in the two countries.

The FAO-SB, in a statement, remarked that "It is imperative that the PEA, along with the beneficiaries and public entities, ensure that the opportunity offered by the project is fully embraced".

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For more information, please contact:

Prof. Lateef Sanni, l.sanni@cgiar.org
Project Coordinator
IITA Cassava Value Chain Development

Godwin Atser, g.atser@cgiar.org
Corporate Communications Officer (West Africa)

Jeffrey T Oliver, o.jeffrey@cgiar.org
Corporate Communications Officer (International)
Communication Office
IITA - Headquarters
Ibadan, Nigeria

URL: www.iita.org

About IITA
Africa has complex problems that plague agriculture and people's lives. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty. Our award winning research for development (R4D) is based on focused, authoritative thinking anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa. We work with partners in Africa and beyond to reduce producer and consumer risks, enhance crop quality and productivity, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is an international non-profit R4D organization since 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the CGIAR.