Mr Adedayo Adewole, Osun Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, has commended the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for supporting farmers in the state with inputs.
A statement issued by the ministry’s media officer, Mrs Segilola Babalola, quoted Adewole as giving the commendation at the presentation of cassava stems and maize seeds to farmers by IITA on Thursday in Osogbo.
”IITA, in partnership with Osun government, is distributing the new variety of cassava stem to over 5000 farmers who will be planting them so that they can multiply the stem and later give it out to other farmers in the state,” Adewole said.
Speaking earlier, the team lead of IITA, Dr Richardson Okechukwu said the objective of the initiative was to convey planting materials to farmers, especially the new variety of cassava stem.
According to him, the new variety of cassava stem will double yield, and reduce cost in terms of processing it to “garri’’.
Okechukwu explained that during this period of COVID-19, a lot of farmers suffered some setbacks and had challenges with funds, receiving farm inputs for proper cropping for 2020 planting season.
He explained that if nothing was done to assist the farmers, the 2021 planting season would be more difficult than the 2020 season.
The IITA team lead said that the price of cassava had gone up already, meaning the price of garri would continue to go up.
“We feel that as IITA, we can have a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture in Osun so that the state can provide cassava stem at lower prices to the farmers and the price of cassava can reduce,” he said.
The Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Osun chapter, Alhaji Suleiman Araokanmi appreciated efforts of the state government in ensuring that farmers received with ease farming inputs.
Araokanmi promised that farmers in the state would make judicious use of the inputs received, especially the cassava stems, to reduce the rising cost of cassava in the state and the country.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
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