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 a livelihood for over 70% of the total population. The region covers Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Namibia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Key agricultural R4D challenges include limited staff and institutional capacity, 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 tackle this IITA currently operates from three locations in the region: Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia.
We are further expanding our efforts in the region by developing a Southern Africa Hub that comprises 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 people out of poverty and reclaim at least 500,000 hectares of degraded land by 2020.