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Farmers sensitised on sustainable seed yam production



By Chinyere Anyanwu     

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture  (IITA) and its partner, the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), are advocating the application of cutting-edge high-ratio propagation technology to establish profitable and long-term seed yam production.

This initiative under the Programme for Seed System Innovation for Vegetatively-Propagated Crops in Africa (PROSSIVA) supports the regional objectives of enhancing farming methods, raising farmer incomes and fostering food security.

During a sensitisation programme organised by PROSSIVA, members of selected farmers’ cooperatives were shown the prospects of novel high ratio propagation technologies for profitable and sustainable seed yam production on August 17.

The sensitisation, which was held at IITA’s Genetic Resources Centre (IITA-GRC), had about 30 farmers in attendance from different associations, including the University of Ibadan Agrifamily Group, Eni Osa Farmers Association, and Association of Sustainable Seed Producers of Oyo State.

The meeting focused on using good agronomic practices on leaf-bud cutting to improve mini tubers and vine production in low-cost hydroponic and non-hydroponic systems with public and private seed companies.

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Some participants at the event shared their views on the new good agronomic practices to boost seed yam production using leaf-bud cuttings (LBCs) and mini tubers in field conditions. In contrast with the large yams they are used to, small tubers can be used to generate good yam varieties, and there are ways to prevent the yam from being diseased, according to Nathaniel Ajayi.

Dr. Adenike Adejumo, from the University of Ibadan Agrifamily said anyone could use the LBC technology to produce seed yams. “If students are exposed to the LBC technology, they will all get interested in agriculture,” she said.

PROSSIVA Yam Component Lead and Tissue Culture Specialist, Morufat Balogun, emphasised the workshop’s long-term effects on raising the value of improved seed types in farmers’ fields.

She urged farmers to join the National Agriculture Seed Council (NASC) to be validated, as farmers need to show that they have the necessary facilities to become community-based seed producers.

IITA Abuja Station Head Beatrice Aighewi, who joined the event virtually, said the production of certified seed yams is important for disease control, genetic purity, yield improvement, effective propagation and resource management. “Lowering the danger of disease and preserving genetic quality will help to achieve the overall goal of enhancing yam production,” she stressed.

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