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Thursday, August 11, 2011

N246m boost for sugarcane production in Africa

Yinka Awosanya

The United Nation’s Common Fund for Commodities has given $1.6 million about N246m for a research project on Ivory Coast and Nigeria to test different species of sugarcane in an effort to boost production, reports Reuters.

Head of the Ivorian National Center for Agronomic Research, Amoncho Adiko, affirmed that researchers from the two West African nations would test about 40 different types of sugarcane with the aim of helping small-scale farmers boost output.

This effort, NaijaAgroNet gathered would increase the production for small-scale farmers which covers just 3,700 hectares of land, whereas large-scale uses up to 22,000 hectares of land for sugar cane production in Ivory Coast.

Adiko said the two nations will contribute the remaining amount needed for the project as the total amount required is $2.1m about N315million.

Part of the essence of the project is to identify sugarcane that small-scale farmers could grow during rain, in order to bridge the gap between them and large-scale farmers that uses irrigation on their farms.

“Villagers need a variety of cane that grows with the rain,” Adiko said

The test is to be taken on varieties of sugarcane from Mauritius, Brazil, Sudan, South Africa and Swaziland. The research is expected to last for about half a decade after which the new varieties of sugarcane will be distributed. Read more

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