By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu, Oct. 7, 2020 The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in partnership with Cydro Royal Multi Venture will train 10,000 cassava farmers in Enugu State on cassava production.
The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) Scaling Assistant, IITA, Mrs Josephine Fasakin disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu during the training of 200 graduate farmers in the state on best agricultural practices in cassava production.
Fasakin said that ACAI is an initiative of the IITA aimed at helping cassava farmers to record high yields and more return on investment.
She said the project was borne out of the sad realisation that Nigeria was not achieving its optimum potential in cassava production.
“The ACAI initiative is aimed at making farmers to see agriculture as a business rather than a pastime venture.
This initiative will help them to increase yield and make more money,” Fasakin said.
Also, the President, Cedro Royal Multi Venture, Mr Fakunle Aremu, said that the IITA developed an extension tool known as ‘AKILIMO’ under the ACAI.
Aremu said that the tool was aimed at exposing cassava farmers to best agronomic practices including choosing the right fertilizer types and obtaining the recommended fertilizer rate.
He said that other benefits of the AKILIMO tool are, learning how to apply fertilizer at the right time and in the right way, as well as doing a cost benefit analysis.
Aremu said that the graduate farmers would in turn train other cassava farmers across the state in order to achieve the 10,000 benchmark.
Also, the President, Enugu State Graduate Farmers, Mr Patrick Mbah, said that the training would boost cassava production in the state.