IITA-CWMP Signs Pacts With 136 Farm­ers For On-farm Demon­stra­tions

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - BUSINESS AGRO - By Gbenga Ak­in­fenwa

THE In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute of Trop­i­cal Agri­cul­ture-led Cas­sava Weed Man­age­ment Pro­ject (IITA-CWMP) is set to sign agree­ments to es­tab­lish 136 demon­stra­tion plots, with farm­ers across four states-abia, Benue, Ogun and Oyo States.

In a state­ment signed by its Com­mu­ni­ca­tion & Knowl­edge Ex­change Ex­pert, God­win Atser, un­der the agree­ment, par­tic­i­pat­ing farm­ers will make avail­able plots of land for on-farm demon­stra­tions. They will also en­sure that ad­e­quate se­cu­rity is pro­vided on the land dur­ing the re­search du­ra­tion to pre­vent theft and cat­tle in­va­sion.

He noted that the demon­stra­tions are farmer-led, as farm­ers will keep records of the farm ac­tiv­i­ties and share the records with the nom­i­nated au­tho­rised rep­re­sen­ta­tive of IITA-CWMP.

“They will en­sure to ap­ply all the in­puts (fer­til­izer, her­bi­cides, and plant­ing ma­te­ri­als) pro­vided by IITA-CWMP and in the pre­scribed man­ner. An­other con­di­tion is that farm­ers will be re­spon­si­ble for all the cost of the farm oper­a­tions (slash­ing, burn­ing, plough­ing, fer­til­izer ap­pli­ca­tion, her­bi­cides ap­pli­ca­tion and har­vest­ing of the plot). They will no­tify IITA-CWMP when the har­vest­ing pe­riod is due and both par­ties will carry out har­vest­ing of the crops.

“The IITA-CWMP on its part will pro­vide fer­til­iz­ers, her­bi­cides, and plant­ing ma­te­ri­als to be used on the on-farm demo plot at no cost. The pro­ject staff will carry out har­vest­ing on the land, in con­junc­tion with farm­ers, and will be re­spon­si­ble for col­lat­ing all nec­es­sary data on the on-farm demos,” he said.

Atser said all pro­ceeds, ex­cept 30 per cent of cas­sava stems, from the demon­stra­tion plot will go to the farm­ers, pro­vided the farm­ers keep to the terms of the agree­ment.

He added that par­tic­i­pat­ing farm­ers have pledged to keep to terms and con­di­tions of the agree­ments, which they said would fos­ter co­op­er­a­tion be­tween them and re­searchers.

Last year, the pro­ject es­tab­lished 58 on-farm tri­als across cas­sava pro­duc­ing zones.

The Pro­ject Leader, IITACWMP, Dr. Al­fred Dixon, said ac­cep­tance of the pro­ject by farm­ers was a wel­come de­vel­op­ment. “We see high en­thu­si­asm from the farm­ers, mean­ing that we are ad­dress­ing de­vel­op­ment needs.”

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