James Sowole in Akure
The Federal Government has begun the distribution of high yielding and disease resistant cassava planting materials including Vitamin A cassava stems to the beneficiaries of December 2016 Vocational Training in Sustainable Production Techniques.
The Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), Ondo State, Dr. Samson Odedina, who flagged off the distribution of the cassava materials at the college ground in Akure recently, said over 90,000 bundles each consisting of 50 cassava stems would be distributed to beneficiaries.
Odedina disclosed the FECA would handle the distribution of the high-yielding stems to beneficiaries in four other states including Edo, Ebonyi, Delta and Kaduna.
He disclosed that the federal government through the FMARD provided fund used in the training of farmers and that the distribution and training was done in partnership with an international donor organisation involved in the development and delivery of Vitamin A cassava and maize globally.
According to him, the cassava variety can yield up to 40 to 50 tonnes per hectare depending on good recommended agricultural practices.
Other beneficiaries of the cassava distribution apart from those that participated in the December training were farmers from the three adopted villages of the college namely Eleyowo, Owode and Ibulesoro; value chain project students of FECA and selected commercial farmers in partnership with the college.
For proper monitoring, the provost asked beneficiaries to set aside a portion of their farm for the variety as the college team would come on inspection of the performance. He said the college was ready to make the variety available to more farmers that are interested urging interested person to visit the college shop for arrangement.
Speaking on behalf of the minister, Mrs. Omagbemi advised the beneficiaries to plant the stem the way they were taught saying that the federal government embarked on community outgrowers to ensure that the Vitamin A Cassava stem is multiplied.
She said farming was one of the major ways through which poverty can be tackled, and expressed delight that the government at all levels had allowed civil servants to embark on farming.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Olu of Owode in Akure North Local Government Area, Oba Samuel Ifedayo Fapohunda, commended the federal government and the college for distributing the materials to farmers directly.