The Philippine Navy said the r

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IBADAN Cheap Nike Air Max 95 , Nigeria, July 24 (Xinhua) -- The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) celebrated its 50th anniversary in Ibadan, capital of southwest Nigeria's Oyo State on Monday, highlighting sustained commitment in agricultural investment.

Nigeria's acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, former Head of State Cheap Air Max 95 , General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, led a throng of dignitaries in celebrating the Institute's past successes and reflect on it future role in its efforts to transform agriculture in the next 50 years.

Established in 1967 through a partnership of the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation of the United States, IITA has helped in raising the productivity of Africa's key crops -- cassava, bananaplantain, maize, cowpea Cheap Nike Air Max 97 , yam, and soybean using the power of innovative science and technology.

Kwesi Atta-Krah, Chair of the IITA 50 Organizing Committee, said the celebration of the 50th year of IITA in Africa transcends past achievements.

"It is also an opportunity for us to begin to look at the future of agriculture and the role IITA will be playing especially as it relates to emerging challenges of climate change, pests and diseases, and rising youth unemployment Cheap Air Max 97 ," he added.

On his part, Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General, told the gathering that the organization has evolved into a strategic partner for research-for-development in sub-Saharan Africa with over 200 scientists working in over 18 countries.

"This event is therefore an opportunity for us to celebrate our past successes with all our partners, friends, and beneficiaries and reflect on our future role in our efforts to transform agriculture in the next 50 years Cheap Nike Air Max 98 ," Sanginga said.

Osinbajo, represented by Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh thanked the host community and management of IITA who has helped in nurturing this institute to greatness.

Ogbeh said the country had over time neglected agriculture, noting that the industry has the potential to employ more youths and improve foreign exchange.

The minister told Xinhua that the government is more committed to investing more in research, especially at the university level.

"One of the things we have done is to ensure that the three universities of agriculture in Nigeria are moved under the Ministry of Agriculture, instead of Education for proper monitoring Cheap Air Max 98 ," Ogbeh added.

Other speakers at the event lauded the critical role of IITA, Africa's biggest international agricultural research institute in the transformation of Africa's agriculture.

The event showcased the strides made by IITA researchers in collaboration with a range of partners and their impact on agriculture in the region and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

These include adoption of almost 400 varieties of cassava with increased yields and better resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses; developing nearly 200 improved soybeans and 78 improved yam varieties.

Over 70 percent of the over 300 maize varieties with IITA germplasm and drought-tolerant maize developed in partnership with CIMMYT has been adopted in 13 countries with projected economic gains of 907 million U.S. dollars.

Impact has also been felt in improving nutrition through promoting legumes such as cowpea and soybean, developing biofortified yellow cassava with enhanced vitamin A and the effective and safe biocontrol solution, Aflasafe, to control aflatoxins in maize and groundnut that is being rolled out in 11 countries.

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MANILA, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine military said on Monday that they had rescued a Vietnamese sailor taken hostage in November last year by the Abu Sayyaf group based in the southern Basilan province.

The Philippine Navy said the rescued victim as Do Trung Huiqe, a crew member of MV Royal 16, was rescued on Sunday on Mataja Island of Basilan.

"The intensified military offensives caused the Abu Sayyaf (kidnappers) to flee, and opened a chance for rescue operations," said Rear Admiral Rene Medina Cheap Air Max 270 , commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, in a statement.

Do Trung Huiqe is among the six crew members of MV Royale 16 who were abducted by Abu Sayyaf criminals around 5 a.m. local time last Nov. 11 near Sibago Island in the Basilan Strait, a strait of water separating the islands of Mindanao and Basilan province.

"Do Trung Huiqe will be brought to a military hospital to undergo medical check-up and debriefing prior turning him over to authorities and eventually to the government of Vietnam," Medina said.

Last July, the military said the Abu Sayyaf beheaded two Vietnamese men sailors, Hoang Trung Thong and Hoang Va Hai Cheap Nike Air Max 720 , who were kidnapped along with Do Trung Huiqe last year. The military rescued Huang Vo last June.

Last February, the Abu Sayyaf also killed a crew member of another Vietnamese ship MV Giang Hai off Sulu's Pearl Bank and abducted seven others.

The Abu Sayyaf group is still holding at least 20 hostages, according to the military.

Abu Sayyaf jihadist group was set up in the early 1990s with money from al-Qaida group. It is one of the Islamic-extremist groups in the Philippines that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) notorious for kidnapping for ransom, bombings and robberies in the southern Philippines.

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