By Edwin Nwanojuo
The Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) and African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) trained persons drawn from universities, research institutes, Oyo State Cassava Growers Association (OYSCGA), and other development partners on the use of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit.
The toolkit was developed by the Cassava Weed Management Project and has proven to help users to more than double the yield from the current African average of 9 tons per ha to more than 20 tons per ha.
The refresher training of trainers (ToT), which comes ahead of the 2019 cassava cropping season aims to equip partners with the necessary tools for successful delivery of technologies.
Addressing participants at the training, TAAT Cassava Compact Leader, Dr Adebayo Abass said the ToT would place the participants in a better position to deliver the technologies being outscaled by the TAAT-Cassava Compact program.
He noted that the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit had been consolidated into a Cassava Technology Demo toolkit and is being disseminated across 15 African countries under the TAAT program.
While commending the work in Nigeria, Dr Abass reiterated that the aim of TAAT Cassava Compact was to scale out proven technologies across Africa with the view to achieving an African Green Revolution.
In his welcome remarks, ACAI Weed Scientist, Prof Friday Ekeleme said the training would contribute positively towards the implementation of demos this year.
He urged participants to adhere to the principles of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit for better results.
ACAI’s Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist, Godwin Atser took participants through the theory and practice of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management.
He explained that the toolkit was a complete package that addresses all aspects of good agricultural practices in cassava production, adding 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.
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 exactly the 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.
Participants commended TAAT/ ACAI for conducting the training and promised to put the knowledge gained to practice.