PIND in partnership with National Crop Research Institute, Ubulu Uku Farmers Collective in Delta State, and Input Companies Notore, Harvest Field Industries, Jubaili Agrotec launched a cassava demonstration pilot project to improve farmers’ practices and ultimately improve the profitability of cassava farmers. Through our pilot demonstration project, we shared best practices in cassava farming with 200 farmers and also spread awareness among the members of the farmers’ association on cultivating cassava varieties with high starch content with demonstrations using the cassava starch testing kit.
Although the farmers are yet to harvest their cassava from the demonstration plot pilot project, there is already evidence of changes in knowledge, attitude and agronomic practices of trained farmers. Many farmers have adopted these best practices and are now requesting for high yielding cassava varieties with high starch content.
Input companies that participated in the demo pilot (Notore, Jubaili and Harvest Field) and agro dealers are adopting the use of training and demonstration as part of their promotion strategy which is strengthening relationships with farmer groups. Following the completion of the demonstration plot pilot in Ubulu Uku, Delta State, Harvest Field and Notore conducted a training for farmers on agronomic practices and herbicide application. Following this training, the 56-members strong Mezie Umukabia Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, Umukabia Ogodo in Ngor Okpala LGA bought a herbicide spraying equipment. This spraying equipment will be used as a means of generating income to the association by offering spraying services to other members of the association for a fee. This way, the association improves its weed management while generating income for its members. Notore also conducted training on best practices for farmers in Agbor and Mbiri on other crops such as maize, okra, tomatoes and yam.
We are now working to spread these best practices among even more farmers.