Wednesday, April 24, 2024

SAA Partners IITA to Promote Cassava Seed Entrepreneurs

The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to improve the cassava seed system through the availability of high-quality cassava seeds.

The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to improve the cassava seed system through the availability of high-quality cassava seeds.

The Country Director for SAA, Dr. Godwin Atser, said the partnership, which is in the framework of the project named Building and Economically Sustainable Cassava Seed System, Phase II (BASICS-II), will allow SAA to establish cassava seed entrepreneurs in Benue and Nasarawa states.

SAA aims to promote need-based good agricultural practices (GAPs) and improved technologies in rural communities by building the capacity of farmers and extension agents through the promotion of market-oriented, sustainable, resilient, regenerative, and nutrition-sensitive agricultural innovations.

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The association works with smallholder farmers by adopting a participatory approach that represents the organization’s vision and ethos of establishing technologies and fruitful market linkages that address the specific concerns of farmers.

Atser disclosed that the project would help to tackle low productivity caused primarily by poor planting materials (seeds) that are often diseased, create at least 100 cassava seed entrepreneurs, who are expected to make a decent living from the sale of cassava stems, and form the foundation of a cassava revolution in Nigeria.

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On his own, the Project Leader of BASICS-II, Prof. Lateef Sanni, pointed out that farmers could more than double their yield using the BASICS-II approach, which in the last four years has emphasized the use of improved-certified cassava seeds.

Sanni expressed his excitement over the partnership, noting that SAA will bring to the table their expertise in agricultural extension delivery, help scale the BASICS Model to new geographies, change the narrative of low yields, and create wealth across the value chain through the raising of commercial seed entrepreneurs.

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