Comprising of 13 countries and with a population of 164 million people, Southern Africa is highly diverse in terms of incomes and levels of development. Agriculture is the dominant sector for food, revenue, and employment in the region, providing over 70% of the total population with their livelihoods. However, Southern Africa is a region with significant unfulfilled agricultural potential. The key agricultural R4D challenges include limited staff and institutional capacities, weak linkages between national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) and international agricultural research centers (IARCs), and poor linkages between technology generation and dissemination institutions and between technology generation and markets. There is also very little investment by member states in agriculture in general. To combat this IITA currently operates from six locations in the region: Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The Malawi office is the oldest location in the region with fully functional administrative services and research facilities consisting of three office blocks, an analytical laboratory, storage rooms, and screenhouses. The station is allocated five hectares of land at a research station owned by the Department of Agricultural Research Services for field activities. IITA-Mozambique operates from rented offices and research facilities belonging to our national partners at Posto Agronomo de Nampula. In addition, we have two research farms, approximately 100 hectares each, located in Nampula and Zambezia provinces. We are further expanding our efforts in the region by developing a Southern Africa Hub that comprises of the Center of Excellence for Intensified and Diversified Agricultural Systems for Southern Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, and a subcenter in Mozambique. Through this Hub IITA aims to raise at least one million poor people out of poverty and reclaim at least 500,000 hectares of degraded land by 2020. For the subcenter in Mozambique, we have already secured a one-hectare plot of land in Nampula City, which has been earmarked for establishing permanent IITA offices and research facilities. For the Center of Excellence, IITA Zambia is investing in establishing a state-of-the-art research and outreach center on 50 hectares of land in Kabangwe, north of Lusaka. Key facilities at the Center will include soil, agronomy and physiology, pest management, social science and agribusiness, plant breeding, biotechnology, GIS and computer, and crop utilization and nutrition laboratories as well as postharvest and tissue culture facilities. The Center will also house a genebank, modern greenhouses, processing facilities for producing high-value cassava-based products, a fabrication workshop for labor-saving agricultural machinery, and training facilities for students, producers, and processors. There will also be a Knowledge Center that will have access to our free online databases, a hostel, and recreation facilities. Our long-term vision is to establish two further testing sites, one in northern Zambia and the other in the Zambezi valley.  

Countries in South Africa Hub