By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan
Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) and African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) have delivered a toolkit, on improved technologies for agriculture practices to cassava farmers in Nigeria.
The development is to increase cassava crop yield in Africa.
A statement released by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) said that ”the toolkit was developed by the Cassava Weed Management Project and has proved to help users to boost the yield of cassava from the current African average of 9 tons per ha to more than 20 tons per ha.”
”TAAT and ACAI organised a training on the use of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit for officials from universities, research institutes, Oyo State Cassava Growers Association (OYSCGA), and other development partners.
”The aim of the refresher Training of Trainers (ToT), which comes ahead of the 2019 cassava cropping season is to equip partners with the necessary tools for successful delivery of technologies,” the statement said.
The TAAT Cassava Compact Leader, Dr. Adebayo Abass told participants at the training that the ToT would place them in a better position to deliver the technologies being out-scaled by the TAAT-Cassava Compact program.
Dr Abass added that the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit had been consolidated into a Cassava Technology Demo toolkit and being disseminated across 15 African countries under the TAAT program.
He commended the work in Nigeria and reiterated that the objective of TAAT Cassava Compact was to scale out proven technologies across Africa with a view to achieving an African Green Revolution.
The statement noted that, the Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist of ACAI, Godwin Atser took participants through the theory and practice of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management.
Atser explained that the toolkit was a complete package that addresses all aspects of good agriculture practices in cassava production.
He added that farmers who used the toolkit had more than doubled cassava yield (>20 tons/ha) from the current national average of 9 tons per ha.
According to the statement, the ACAI Weed Scientist, Professor Friday Ekeleme stated that the training would contribute positively to the implementation of demos in 2019.
Ekeleme therefore urged participants to adhere to the principles of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit, for better results.
Topics covered during the training included: GAP: Harnessing Experiences/Results from Cassava Weed Management Project, Cassava Agronomy, Principles and Practices of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit, Calibration and Safe Use and Application of Herbicides.
There was a video demonstration of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit. Participants were also introduced to the IITA Herbicides Calculator mobile App which allows farmers to know the exact amount of herbicide to apply on any given field.
Participants at the training were drawn from the National Root Crops Research Institute (Umudike), University of Agriculture Makurdi, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Leventis Foundation, Psaltry, Oyo State Agricultural Development Program, Bestacor, Oyo State Cassava Growers Association, Justice Development and Peace Movement, Oyo; KOLPING in Abia, and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
They commended TAAT and ACAI for conducting the training and promised to put the knowledge gained to practice.