IITA: Food crops research for Africa
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1988. IITA: Food crops research for Africa. Spore 17. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44960
IITA, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, was established in 1976 as the first major African link in an integrated network of international research and training centres located throughout the developing regions of the world. Its...
IITA, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, was established in 1976 as the first major African link in an integrated network of international research and training centres located throughout the developing regions of the world. Its headquarters are at Ibadan, Nigeria, but it also has substations at Onne, Nigeria, and at Cotonou, Benin. In addition IITA has links with many regional and national programmes in nine other African countries: Cameroon Ghana, Kenya, Niger Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zaire and Zimbabwe. In Kenya, IITA activities are linked with the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), itself based in Kenya; while in Zimbabwe IITA collaborates with the maize breeding programme together with CIMMYT, the Mexico based Centre for the Improvement of Wheat and Maize. Maize is one of the priority food crops for research at IITA. Its mandate includes the sub-humid and humid tropi.cal regions of the world, but IITA activities are concentrated mainly on the needs of subSaharan countries - the region of the world where the need for increased food production is currently most acute. IlTA's central objective, in cooperation with national programmes, is to undertake research which will make it possible to increase food production, as well as employment and income in the countries. Four out of five of the research programmes of IITA are crop centred: Grain Legume Improvement, Maize Research, Rice Research and Root and Tuber Improvement. The fifth is the Farming Systems Programme. The exchange and provision of information is an important service provided by IITA, especially in sectors where it has unique experience such as in the development of alley cropping, a form of agroforestry, and of biological control of cassava mealybug and green spider mites. Alley cropping has been investigated on IlTA's own 1000 ha experimental farm as a sustainable alternative to shifting cultivation, and a booklet on the technique and various alternatives of species trees and crops has been published by IITA. Another IITA booklet explains the system developed for the Africa-wide programme of control for the two pests of cassava. Many other publications are also available from IITA on its own research and development programmes and on collaborative projects with international, regional and national bodies. IlTA's latest Annual Report provides a comprehensive report on this range of activities, as well as a bibliography of many recent publications available. An integrated computerized library system covers all acquisitions, cataloguing and circulation records; all catalogue records, circulation records and 'outstanding order' files are input into the on-line bibliographic database ALISTRA. The system has a large number of fields which can be searched online; these include authors all keywords in publication titles, subject descriptions, publishers, corporate sources, publication dates and keywords in abstracts. Taking advantage of the automated system, library staff now supply to scientists and senior management lists of new books and journal articles which match their area of interest. This service, known as Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) has proved useful to all concerned. A new computerized mailing list has also been developed and this database can be searched via numerous categories; by name, job title, discipline, organization, publication(s) required, language and subjects of interest. Addresses total some 5000; most recent additions have been adresses of libraries to facilitate the implementation of a Deposit Library Scheme in which libraries of key institutions in Africa and donor countries are designated IITA Deposit Libraries. They receive all IITA publications free and are requested to make them readily available to anyone seeking information about its work. For more details, contact: IITA Oyo Road PMB 532 Ibadan, Oyo State NIGERIA