April 29, 2023

TAAT showcases innovative solutions at ECOWAS-Aviana Expo

TAAT’s exhibition booth at 2023 ECOWAS-Aviana Expo

In scaling agricultural innovations and technologies for transformational purposes, organising platforms to showcase them is paramount to bringing together government agencies and policymakers, stakeholders across agriculture and agribusiness value-chain, and financial institutes for discussions and networking. Hence, an agricultural exhibition is a useful method to deliver innovations and technologies to improve agriculture and boost the economy.

Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) is deploying at-scale technologies and strategic innovations to improve food and nutritional security and build a resilient African food system.  The need to share knowledge and experiences on the programme’s offerings and thematic focus with stakeholders in the West African region informed its participation in the 2023 edition of the ECOWAS-Avianaviv West Africa Fair.

The expo, which was held from the 27th to the 28th of April 2023 at the expansive University of Ibadan International Conference Center, Ibadan, South-West Nigeria, brought together stakeholders from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) governments from across the sub-region, private sector organisations, farmers groups and research institutes led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

TAAT, Olam Group, IITA, Hybrid Feeds, AFEX, Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) and  AgroMerits, alongside others set up exhibition booths to display their solutions and products as well as interact with participants at the expo.

Dr Bright Isaac Okoh, the National Coordinator of the Africa Farming Project and the Nigeria Country Partner for Aviana West Africa Expo, in his opening remarks, stated that “Aviana Expo is an international agricultural exhibition that brings together various professionals, stakeholders across West Africa and other parts of the world to share knowledge and experience, and to promote agriculture within West Africa.”

The International Coordinator of the ECOWAS-Aviana viv Expo, Dr Venord, added that Aviana works across industries to help farmers with new technologies, products and ideas. “We bring international ideas and companies together so that the agricultural value chain will change and businesses will be competitive enough to transform the African economy”, he said.

 Dr Akem Chrysantus, TAAT Programme Coordinator, in a keynote presentation at the Fair’s plenary entitled “Agricultural transformation in West Africa and the imperative of scaling proven innovations” highlighted the imperatives of lifting people out of hunger and poverty, reducing unemployment, and reducing importation of food through sustainable intensification of agricultural productivity in key commodities.

“We need to stop importing and start consuming what we produce.  We have to take ourselves on top of the value chain and set achievable targets,” he said. He further explained that most research findings end up in publications and on bookshelves; hence TAAT is primed to disseminate these innovations at scale across Africa.

Sunny Ameh of the Business Incubation Platform (BIP), the technology delivery arm of IITA, added that the Fair provided a platform to display groundbreaking innovations, reach out to smallholder farmers and the private sector as well as attract investors. “BIP is the technology delivery arm of IITA, this kind of exhibition gives room to showcase all our successfully developed and incubated technologies and multiply the success of IITA’s innovations and research output”, he said.

The 2-day event is an annual event designed to draw the participation of companies, farmers, institutions, stakeholders, associations, Banks/Insurance and professionals all over the globe for business networking, building brand awareness, generating new markets, trade and commerce, market research and networking.