The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), a Non Governmental Organisation in Nigeria says full mechanisation of cassava farming will increase yields, create market opportunity and bring about food sufficiency in the country.
The Regional Head of AATF, Dr Issoufou Abdourhamane stated this in an interview with Journalists on Thursday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Abdourhamane said that the NGO’s success in its Cassava Mechanisation and Agro-Processing Project (CAMAP) in Nigeria proved that full mechanisation of cassava production could be achieved.
He disclosed that AATTF was collaborating with the National Agricultural Mechanisation Centre in Ilorin, Kwara, on the cassava mechanisation project.
The Regional Head explained that one of the challenges the organisation first encountered was that many cassava producers were smallholders, however, they were quickly organised for effective improved cassava harvest.
“AATF thereafter supplied the farmers’ machineries from the planters to harvesters of cassava.
“Cassava is an important crop in Brazil, and that country has developed a lot of machines for its production; so we were able to import the machines and organised the cassava producers for effective improved harvest,’’ he said.
Abdourhamane added that what the Nigerian authorities needed to do was to develop and manufacture simple farming equipment since they already had the prototype for ease of farming and abundant crop yield.
According to Abdourhamane, the farmers only pay certain fees for the services rendered which have nothing to do with any type of profit for AATF.