By Mohammed Kandi
The Director General, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, has said increasing the number of women in agricultural research would bring more productivity and efficiency in the organisation.
In a statement by Godwin Aster, IITA Communications expert, the DG said while addressing female staff members recently in Ibadan, Dr Sanginga said “the need to increase the population of women in IITA was driven by the productivity of women staff which had proven to be above their male counterparts over the years.”
He cited an instance at the Threshing Building— a unit involved in the threshing of crops such as maize, soybean, cowpea, and rice saying “out of a workforce of over 100 in that unit, 30 percent are women, but in terms of output, they account for more than 70 percent.”
“Another example that comes to mind is the IITA Women’s Group that is involved in charitable programs including donations to orphanages, community development, and the provision of scholarships,” Dr Sanginga said.
Dr. Sanginga also said that he envisioned more women in management of the Institute in the years ahead.
He called on women to come out of their shells and aspire for higher positions, adding that “You need to be excellent in whatever you are doing… You need to be innovative.”
He also speaks on challenges facing the performance of the women folk, saying
“several young working mothers have children and husbands to take care of. For many, taking higher positions that would compromise the care of their children is a non-starter.”