IITA unveils digital tools for agricultural transformation

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has unveiled a suite digital tools that are helping in transforming farming, improving yield and livelihoods of farmers.

Digital transformation strategy has the potential to revolutionize many industries, including agriculture helping farmers work more efficiently and sustainably.

The digital tools include the cassava, Goseed and yam seed trackers; Akilimo, IITA Herbicide Calculator, e-commerce site and IITA News App.

Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General who marks his 8-year in office on Friday last week, described the development of the digital tools as a remarkable feat, adding that they would assist in creating impact at scale.

“This aligns with our vision that led us to create the Partnership & Delivery Directorate whose responsibility is to ensure that not only are we carrying out research and writing scientific papers but also delivering and making impact on farm level,” he added.

“The seed trackers are mobile platforms designed to help in seed production planning, seed traceability, seed inventory, real-time tracking of production status, seed certification, marketing, information resources, among others,” Dr Lava Kumar, the IITA Head of Germplasm Health Unit and Virologist said.

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The IITA Herbicide Calculator is a mobile app that was developed by the Cassava Weed Management Project and deployed across Nigeria and other African countries and is being used in controlling weeds in cassava, explained Godwin Atser, IITA Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist.

“The App helps growers to estimate the correct amount of herbicides to be added to knapsack sprayers, helping farmers to avoid underdosing or overdosing which leads to environmental pollution and weeds resistance,” he added.

Akilimo on the other hand, is a mobile agronomy advisory tool developed by the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) that combines weed management/best planting, fertilizer recommendations, scheduled planting, according to Dr Christine Kreye, West Africa Coordinator for ACAI.

For the IITA News app, IITA Head of Communication, Kathy Lopez said the app captures and disseminate, in real-time, news about research and delivery activities to the public.

Launching the Cassava Seed Tracker, Yam Seed Tracker, Dr Sanginga and Dr. Olusegun Ojo, Director General of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), noted that the development of the digital apps were steps in the right direction.

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