The Federal Government has revealed its plans to adopt technology in introducing high yielding varieties for cassava in order to add value to the commodity.
Nigeria is the world’s leading producer of cassava despite its low yield of below 10mt/ha, compared to other countries such as Thailand.
The Director Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babaginda, said the country has the potential of having good varieties that could give more than 40mt/ha.
She disclosed this during the workshop on capacity building of farmers to address the yield gap in cassava for North East, held at Bauchi Agricultural Development Programme, Bauchi State.
She said, “it is my firm belief that the challenges posed as low yield could be surmounted through activities such as this workshop adoption of appropriate policy measures, deployment of efficient technologies, improved agronomic practices and cropping systems that would take maximum advantage of new and improved varieties, which could be easily adopted by farmers.”
Mrs Babangida said the purpose of the workshop was to ensure that the yield gap in cassava is addressed through dissemination and adoption of improved technologies as well as innovation by smallholder farmers.
“This is coupled with encouraging youth and gender empowerment activities that will not only increase productivity and income but also offer more economic opportunities to farmers in the cassava value chain.
“Accordingly, this will facilitate the creation of sustainable cassava planting materials production system; provide yield productivity technologies, ensure good agronomic practices, empowerment of youth and women in production, access to information using necessary digital tools to create competitiveness and profitability of cassava enterprise for smallholder farmers.”
She noted that in the end, the value chain will be more efficient in dissemination and adoption of new improved productivity, and raise incomes of cassava growers and seed entrepreneurs in the cassava industry.
The Director said the steps to weed management and best practices tool developed by researchers at International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has shown good results in helping farmers to Increase productivity to about 20 tons per hectare.
“Also, the cassava seed system, use of smart agriculture (AKILIMO) application, seed tracker and other digital tools developed by researchers at the international institute have good potentials to improve cassava productivity. It is in an effort to intensify and out scale these tools to farmers in different states and communities in Nigeria that underscores the necessity of this workshop.
“The efforts of many international researchers to support and complement the National agricultural research system in Nigeria to generate location-specific technologies to achieve the yield gap in cassava must be appreciated.
“These are easily seen in several projects such as Africa Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI), Cassava Weed Management Project (CWMP) and the Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Cassava Seed System phase 11 (BASICS 11), which is expected to overcome the yield-limiting factors in cassava fields, by working with farmers and recording higher yields,” she added.
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FG unveils plan to adopt technology for increased cassava yield, value addition
Nigeria recorded a slight reduction in the number of COVID-19 infections, recoveries and deaths last week, Tribune Online analysis shows.
Last week (February 14 to 20), 5,849 new cases were reported in the country, the lowest in seven weeks.
The last time Nigeria recorded such a low figure was in the December 27 to January 2 week, when it reported 5,681 cases…FG unveils plan to adopt technology for increased cassava yield, value addition