The cassava processing initiative undertaken by World Bank sponsored West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) has taken off in Oyo State.
The initiative tagged village projects is targeted at effective technology dissemination through Adopted Village Concept funded by the World Bank and it also aims at enhancing farmers’ productivity in line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government.
Speaking at the commissioning of the project at Apete-Onidoko in Ido Local Government Area, Oyo State, Abdoulaye Toure, the Lead Agricultural Economist and Task Team Leader of World Bank sponsored WAAPP said hope for food security in Nigeria is rising as a result of the adoption and adaptation of variety of new agricultural technologies by practising farmers across the country.
While addressing the teeming farmers present at the ceremony, Toure noted with delight that the adoption of new agricultural technologies has impacted positively on the lives of Nigerian farmers as shown in their cassava (gari), quality protein maize processing and livestock poultry management, among others.
According to him, there is no doubt that many farmers are happy with the new technologies and innovations as manifested in the increase they now realise in their revenues. What we want to see now is that the initiatives are spreading to more villages, he stated.
He then added, “In that regard, extension workers should be deployed effectively to spread the mission to more villages while in the same vein, the local governments should also be co-opted into the scheme to reach the grassroots unhindered.”
Toure, a doctorate degree holder challenged youths to take advantage of the scheme which he described as job creating opportunities. He said, “We want the youths to be involved in the activities so that they can replicate what they learn from us,”
Toure scored the IAR&T and the zonal coordinating centre for WAAPP projects very high, noting that IAR&T has recorded tremendous success in its research efforts in the new varieties of cassava, maize, cowpeas, sorghum and millet. He urged farmers to make the best use of the research findings.
Toure however tasked IAR&T to adopt more large scale strategy of disseminating new technologies to the end users just as he disclosed that WAAPP would step up collaboration with Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) in Nigeria to further boost farming in the nation.
In his address, the Director of IAR&T, James Alabi Adediran listed his Institute’s extension activities to the local farmers as comprising career talks, advisory services, interactive visits, trainings and encouragement of Gender participation.
Adediran, a professor pointed out that farmers in the Adopted Village Project are being confronted particularly, with bad roads which have been hindering transportation of their farm products to the cities.
This Report was originated from Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs.
November 12, 2014