FROM: Dappa Maharajah
THE Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FARD), in collaboration with Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), has begun free distribution of high yielding and disease resistant cassava planting materials to farmers.
This was in fulfilment to the promise made to beneficiaries of the December 2016 Vocational Training in Sustainable Cassava Production Techniques during the training programme in FECA.
According to FECA Provost, Dr. Samson Adeola Odedina, who spoke at the event on campus last Tuesday, the high yielding and disease resistant cassava planting materials including Vitamin A would be distributed across five states.
Odedina said there are over 1000 beneficiaries selected from Eleyowo, Owode and Ibulesoro adopted villages of the college; value chain project students and other commercial farmers, who will benefit from over 90, 000 bundles of the products.
“This distribution and training is done in partnership with HarvestPlus, an international donor organization involved with development and delivery of Vitamin A cassava and maize globally.”
The Provost added that the 90,000 bundles to be distributed, which he disclosed would continue immediately in Kaduna, Ebonyi, Edo and Delta states, can be up to 40-50 tonnes per hectare on good agricultural practices.
Odedina, who disclosed that the vitamin A cassava has a lot of health benefits mainly to pregnant women and children, said the institution designed monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to improve the farmers’ productivity.
He lauded the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh (OFR), who was represented by the state Coordinator of FARD, Dr. Mrs Olufunke Omagbemi, for providing the varieties freely to farmers.
Omagbemi, also a farmer, tasked the farmers on recommended practices, assuring them that the varieties and training received from FECA would lead to high profits.
Alongside the former Programme Manager of Ondo State Agricultural Development Project (ADP), Pastor Ejide Aladesaye and the Olu of Owode community, Oba Samuel Fapohunda, who were also in attendance, they urged the farmers to utilize the opportunities provided by FECA and FG.
Akingboye Joseph Oluwaseun