How Cassava Stems Are Creating Job Opportunities For Farmers
By Grace Samuel
Over the past four years, the BASICS-II project has shown that using improved cassava stems can really make a difference in increasing yield per hectare and generating multiple income streams for farmers.
It’s amazing how the seed system not only improves productivity but also creates job opportunities for commercial seed entrepreneurs and generates wealth along the entire value chain.
This is definitely a game-changer for the cassava industry in Nigeria, and ot is exciting to see the positive impact it will have on farmers and the economy.
For example, the partnership between the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a great initiative supporting the cassava seed system across Africa through the BASICS-II project.
It is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s amazing to hear that SAA will be establishing cassava seed for entrepreneurs in Benue and Nasarawa states. This will not only boost the cassava industry but also create opportunities for economic growth.
With the partnership between SAA and IITA, the plan to create 100 cassava seed entrepreneurs is fantastic. Not only will it provide these entrepreneurs with a decent livelihood, but it will also lay the groundwork for a cassava revolution in Nigeria.
It’s true that Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava, but the potential of this “rambo crop” hasn’t been fully realized due to issues like low productivity caused by poor planting materials.
By focusing on improving the quality of cassava seeds, this partnership aims to address those challenges and unlock the full potential of cassava farming. It’s a great step towards boosting Nigeria’s agricultural sector
Nigeria’s potential to fully benefit from the “rambo crop” of cassava has been hindered by low productivity caused by poor planting materials.
It’s unfortunate that the average cassava yield in Nigeria is below 10 tons per hectare, while countries like Thailand are achieving more than 20 tons per hectare due to their advanced cassava seed system.
This difference in productivity has limited the competitiveness of Nigerian farmers and their access to the export market. That’s why initiatives like the partnership between SAA and IITA are crucial in improving the cassava seed system and this collaboration wil bring about positive changes for the cassava industry in Nigeria!
The BASICS-II approach, which focuses on using improved-certified cassava seeds, has the potential to more than double the yield for farmers.
It’s really exciting to hear that SAA is partnering with BASICS-II to bring their expertise in agricultural extension delivery and help scale the BASICS Model to new areas.
Limited access to quality seeds and propagation materials has been a major challenge in transforming cassava systems. Many African farmers end up planting old, diseased stems due to this issue.
While breeders have developed improved cassava varieties, getting these stems to farmers as seeds has been a struggle. Previous efforts by governments and NGOs to multiply and distribute cassava stems have been sporadic, unreliable, and unsustainable.
Hopefully, with the collaboration between SAA and BASICS-II, we’ll see more sustainable and effective solutions to address this challenge. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a successful cassava revolution in Nigeria!