Despite Nigeria’s potential in cassava with an estimated production of over 60 million metric tonnes, the Federal Government has said the average yield is still lower than production in Asia and others.
Director at the Federal Department of Agriculture Abdullahi Garba Abubakar spoke at the workshop on capacity development for cassava farmers on good practices and management of whitefly on cassava farms.
Abubakar attributed the cassava low yield to several biotic and abiotic factors, such as pest and diseases.
He noted that the workshop would sensitise farmers and stakeholders to the basic concept of agricultural best practices on whitefly and disease control in cassava production. The director said the workshop would ensure the cassava production system is aimed at sustainable agriculture and ecologically safety, to obtain harmless products of quality, contributing to food security and income generation.
The objective of the cassava value chain programme, he said, is to increase productivity and promote small, medium and large-scale production using improved high yielding varieties to promote value addition of cassava raw material for industrial food markets, pharmaceutical, and confectionery industries.
He said the strategies to manage whitefly on cassava farms include use of resistant cassava varieties; application of pesticide; and observation of farm operations, such as planting, weeding, supplying, manure application, and harvesting at appropriate periods.
Regional Director of the ministry in South West Mrs Omolara Oguntuyi said the workshop would also train farmers on good agricultural practices, management of whitefly infestation on cassava farms for sustainable production towards attaining food security, job creation and high foreign exchange earnings.
She noted that the ministry is working towards achieving food security by using a combination of policies and appropriate technologies leading to job and wealth creation.