IITA Establishes 136 Cassava Weed Demonstration Farms


The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has signed an agreement with 136 farmers to set up cassava weed demonstration plots for weed control in four states.
The Communication and Knowledge Exchange Expert, IITA, Mr Godwin Atser, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja last Monday.
Atser explained that IITA led the Cassava Weed Management Project (IITA-CWMP) team to sign the agreement with Abia, Benue, Ogun and Oyo states.
He quoted Dr Alfred Dixon, Project Leader for the IITA-CWMP, as saying that the acceptance of the project by farmers would be a welcome development, which would address the weed control problem.
”Under the agreements, participating farmers will make available plots of land for on-farm demonstrations.
”They will also ensure that adequate security is provided on the land during the research duration to prevent theft and cattle invasion.
”Hence the demonstrations are farmer-led; farmers will keep records of the farm activities and share these records with the nominated authorized representative of IITA-CWMP.
”They will ensure application of all inputs such as fertiliser, herbicides, and planting materials provided by IITA-CWMP and in the prescribed manner.
”Farmers will be responsible for all the cost of the farm operations like the slashing, burning, ploughing, fertiliser application, herbicides application and harvesting of the plot.
”They will notify IITA-CWMP when the harvesting period is due and both parties will carry out harvesting of the crops.
”We see high enthusiasm from the farmers, meaning that we are addressing development needs,” he said.
Atser said the IITA-CWMP partnership will provide fertilisers, herbicides, and planting materials to be used on the on-farm demonstration plots at no cost to the farmers.
He said that the project staff will carry out harvesting on the land in conjunction with farmers and will be responsible for collating all necessary data on the on-farm demonstrations.
A farmer-participant, Mrs Afusatu Akinware, said the on-farm demonstrations would help the community to learn better and improve weed management practices for cassava production.
”I am glad this project selected our community to gain from the knowledge on improved weed control,” she added.
The Tide source reports that in 2016, the project established 58 on-farm trials across the cassava producing zones of Nigeria.