The Commissioners of Agriculture have declared weeds as a negative influence on the yield of cassava in the country. The announcement was made in a press release signed by 14 Commissioners of Agriculture and issued at the 2018 Annual Review and Work Planning Meeting of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Cassava Weed Management Project tagged, ‘‘Unveiling of New Technologies for Weed Control in Cassava Farming Systems,’’ in Ibadan recently.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Peter Odebunmi, at the event said there were several rural farmers ignorant of how to get the best yield from their farms, adding that the outcome of the research on weed management will promote the economy of the individual farmers.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture for Edo State, Mr. Monday Osaigbovo, added that it was high time weed control gained attention. “If we do nothing to address weeds, we won’t be able to transform cassava in the country,” he said.
He stressed that to change the cassava story, there has to be a strong alliance with IITA Cassava Weed Management project, the Federal Government, state governments, the private sector, national research institutes, universities, and other stakeholders. While noting that Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, he said it is also important to know that cassava yield is low with FAO reporting a national average for Nigeria of 9.1 tonnes per hectare (ha) compared to Asian countries where yields are more than twice Nigeria’s national average.
Over the last four years, the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project with donor support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has developed innovative packages to control weeds in cassava.
Results presented by the Project Leader of the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, Dr. Alfred Dixon, revealed that by switching to the innovative package developed by the Project, Nigerian farmers could record more than 20 tonnes per ha, up from 9 tonnes per ha has been reported by FAO as Nigeria’s national average.
The post How weeds threaten cassava yield –Agric Commissioners appeared first on The Sun News.