IITA identifies opportunities to make a difference amidst COVID-19 spread across Africa
As COVID-19 or coronavirus gets closer to home—Africa, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has announced some opportunities for the Institute to undertake some quick-win projects that would help the continent address food security and poverty alleviation goals.
IITA Director-General Nteranya Sanginga announced these and health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus among staff members and their families during a virtual meeting held at the Institute’s headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. Top of these measures is a partial lockdown of all its offices across Africa starting 30 March.
Sanginga said, “During this time, essential services and activities will continue with only a few critical persons coming to work. This precaution is necessary if we are to avoid a crisis. Our priority right now is to protect our people.” However, he called upon the staff to remain calm. Sanginga said the crisis presents an opportunity for IITA and the entire CGIAR system to continue making a difference in sub-Saharan African food systems. One way of doing this is by monitoring food prices and strengthening market supervision.