Nigerian farmers may have adopted improved yam producing technique introduced by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) where that involves cutting tubers of yam into small sizes of between 50 and 100 grams, treating them with appropriate pesticides and insecticides before planting, reports ModernGhana.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that famers in Ekiti State in the Western part of the country who embraced the healthy seed yam producing technique in 2011 recorded bountiful yam production at the end of the season.
Mr. Moses Oguniyi, a state extensionist who is the liaison with IITA scientists on the project, said farmers have more than doubled their seed yams.
“Some farmers planting 200 seed yams before now have enough to plant 500 heaps. Also the quality of the seed yams is very good and farmers love the technology,” he said.
Preferred by most people in West Africa, he noted that yams are important sources of carbohydrates in the region which accounts for more than 90 per cent of production.
But a major limitation to production has been the high cost of seed production, in addition to pests and diseases, which lead to poor quality seed yam.
For many farmers, planting for the next cropping season usually demands setting aside up to one-third of harvest. Using the improved technology can reduce this proportion, leaving more yams to feed the family, while the better quality seed produces more still.
Bishop Samuel Oke of the Anglican Diocese of Ekiti West said he was happy that his parishioners participated in the project, citing its empowerment potential especially for those living in the rural areas.
“The healthy seed yam production came at the right time and it has produced benefits,” he said.
To improve the livelihoods of members of the church, the Anglican Diocese of Ekiti West has embarked on several agricultural programs including capacity building and training. One of the modules for training planned for this year is the healthy seed yam technology.
“A few people that participated last year got benefits and we want more to benefit hence the need for training and awareness of this technology,” Oke said. Read moreAdmin/ED
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