Adeniyi Adebayo Isaiah | Taking Action on Improving Agriculture: Crop Production, Nutrition, and Farming

By Adeniyi Adebayo Isaiah

I have always talked about agriculture, ever since my primary stage. I pursue it passionately to this day. I had a tight hand for agriculture as a feature. I was able to enroll in my first edX course to look at the effect of climate in agriculture, which motivated me to choose the SDG Academy course Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Sustainability. I didn’t know anything about this course when I first clicked on its grand syllabus, but started to learn over a six week period. This course addressed the climate’s effect on agriculture with professors like William Masters and Achim Dobermann.

Most times, when agricultural science is mentioned, the idea is limited to only current agricultural issues. However, while taking this course, I came to enjoy discussing agriculture not just from the angle of the different types of factors, but also from the perspectives of how to help both animals and humans reduce poverty, protect the planet and improve livelihoods. The prospects of everyone, everywhere––population increase, politics, and trade––influences agricultural outcomes, from the global level down to communities in developing countries like Nigeria. 

Working in a rice paddy for research development

I am a young agricultural activist with an academic background as an Agriculture Production Technology advocate; therefore, the knowledge gained from Feeding a Hungry Planet is essential to me because of my activities around agricultural sciences and research development. It was important for me to understand the trends in crop production technologies, cutting through production systems to become more informed about the benefits, especially to feed people and reduce hunger and nutrition perspectives. It was also important to understand the concept of globalization and its impact on agriculture and the health of humans and animals with regards to the agriculture systems in lower-middle income and developing countries.

 Here are the maize plants at my seasonal production farm in northern Nigeria.

Through this course, I learned different strategies to implement the SDGs across different sectors in the improvement and research delivery system. I have always advocated for good agricultural production and well-being, but it became clearer that it is not just about advocating but knowing how, where, and when to take action to improve the quality and affordability of agricultural production for farmers across the world, starting one community at a time.

Since then, I was contracted as field technician with experience in different agricultural areas (e.g. a Monsanto/Bayer project, 2018), and I am currently working with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture on a consultancy project related to sustainability in agriculture. I continue to think about how to influence the consultancy process with sustainability, and find myself always looking for new knowledge like I gained in the SDG Academy course Feeding a Hungry Planet to succeed in this goal. 

Research from the maize improvement program at IITA station.

Adeniyi Adebayo Isaiah is a Nigerian agricultural activist and field technician with experience in different agriculture areas. He currently works for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture as a consultant for a sustainability project.