Published On: Thu, Feb 9th, 2017

Scheme unlocks potential of Nigeria cassava industry

cassavaLAGOS, (CAJ News) – A programme set to unlock the agronomy of cassava in Nigeria has been established in Ibadan.
It is the brainchild of the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI), which is running 563 trials across Nigeria and Tanzania.
Dr Bernard Vanlauwe, Principal Investigator of the ACAI project and the Director of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Central Africa Hub, said cassava was one of the most consumed staples in Africa and a source of income.
“The question is how we can reduce the yield gap,” said Vanlauwe at the Annual Work Review and Planning in Ibadan, Nigeria.
“This is where the science of ACAI comes in.”
Dr Abdulai Jalloh, Project Leader of ACAI, believes the project is a “game changer” for cassava in the continent.
“Our farmers are yet to realise the potential of genetic improvement because of poor agronomy,” he said.
Agronomy is the science of soil management and crop production.
According to IITA, although widely cultivated in Africa, cassava yield per hectare has remained low in the continent compared to Asia.
Nigeria and Tanzania have continued to report yields per hectare of less than 8 tonnes per hectare as opposed to Asian countries such as Thailand where yield of more than 22 tonnes per hectare has being reported.
CAJ News

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