The Edo State Government through the Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs) has distributed improved cassava variety, TME 419, to over 77 farmers trained on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for improved productivity at the Edo Food and Agriculture Cluster (Edo-FAC) in Ehor, Uhunwonde Local Government Area of the state.
Senior Special Assistant to the Edo State Governor on Job Creation and Skills Development, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare, said the state government is committed to empowering farmers and providing training and inputs to increase their productivity.
A number of training programmes on agricultural development are provided at the Edo-FAC, a facility that serves as an aggregation point and capacity building centre for farmers in the state.
She said the stems were distributed in collaboration with Elsung Farmer Empowerment Limited and the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI).
According to Dare, “TME 419 cassava stems arrived Edo-FAC recently. The journey began in July, when we observed a high demand for improved cassava variety, TME 419, in local and international markets.
“To this end, the Edo State Skills Development Agency (Edojobs) organised training on best practices for cultivating the new variety. Now, TME 419 cassava stems have been distributed to all participants. The rains have not ceased, which translates to a good and stress-free planting season. 10 bundles of cassava stems were distributed to each of the 77 farmers.”
She said there was a ready market for the cassava roots when the farmers harvest their produce, noting that food processors within the state and other companies that require the improved variety as raw material for their products are waiting in line to buy off the produce from the farmers.
“This is made possible because we have already struck the partnership needed to make this happen. We have ThriveAgric on board on this arrangement, who will link the farmers up with their produce buyers. There is a ready market for the harvest. It is very exciting,” she added.
She added that the participants in the training programme were presented with certificates of completion at the end of the training.