The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) is one of the foremost National Agricultural Research Institutes in Nigeria. It is affiliation with the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife since 1969 makes it one of the four University-based Agricultural Research Institutes in Nigeria. Even though, this affiliation opens a lot of opportunities to the Institute, it also bestows a lot of responsibilities and challenges to the entire workforce. Having mandate for improved farming systems in South West Nigeria, Scientists can work on virtually any crop grown by farmers in the zone apart from the national mandate crops assigned to the Institute by the Government.
In addition to research activities, teaching assignments are being handled by many of our scientiests as the home campus of the University. Ile-Ife a distance of about eighty kilometers from Ibadan. The participation of Management staff and senior scientists in many University Statutory meetings and committees is also involving.
The Institute has intimate and regular contact with resource-poor farmers throughout the nooks and crannies of South Western Nigeria covering the six States of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti. The IAR&T is the South West Zonal Coordinating Research Institute. Demand-driven and peasant-farmer targeted improved agricultural technologies are generated and disseminated to thousands of farm-families in South Western Nigeria and even beyong. The Institute has developed over the years effective and improved technologies including outstanding varieties of many common staples of maize, cowpea, cassava, fruit and leaf vegetables to mention a few.
Many of these varieties are grown outside the shores of the country particularly in the West Africa Sub region. The Institute has developed series of production technologies that are efficient, economical and affordable to farmers. Also a number of easy-to-prepared, delicious, nutritious recipes from locally available and cheap food staples have been developed, Kenaf research has not only yielded varieties with improved fibre and core yield, but aslo various prodcuts including kenaf oil, ceiling tiles, plumbing yarn, traveling/hand bags, ropes other handicrafts, etc. Quite a number of soil management technologies have also been developed to boost food production improve livelihood of farmers.