By Bukola Adewumi
Abuja, Nov. 17, 2020 The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and two other organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build and promote cassava seed system in the country.
The other organisations are the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND).
Mr Godwin Atser, the IITA Digital Extension and Advisory specialist said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that the cassava seed system would trigger the adoption of improved varieties of cassava stems.
Atse said that the initiative was to boost production of cassava by farmers in the Niger Delta region.
He said in the five-year tripartite agreement under the IITA Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Cassava Seed Systems Phase 2 (BASICS-II), the three institutions would leverage one another’s capabilities.
“The institutions would also leverage on their strength in advancing the development of an economically sustainable cassava seed sector in Nigeria,” he stated.
According to him, the agreement involves collaborating to organise advocacy programmes, training of farmers and promotion of the use of improved disease-free varieties of cassava stems.
Atser said that it was through partnerships that the IITA could transform African agriculture.
“By leveraging partnerships, IITA always wants to see farmers record higher yield, see reduced importation of food and see better standards of living,’’ he said.