IITA-CWMP signs pacts with 136 farmers for on-farm demonstrations
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-led Cassava Weed Management Project (IITA-CWMP) is set to sign agreements to establish 136 demonstration plots, with farmers across four states-Abia, Benue, Ogun and Oyo States.
In a statement signed by its Communication & Knowledge Exchange Expert, Godwin Atser, under the agreement, participating farmers will make available plots of land for on-farm demonstrations. They will also ensure that adequate security is provided on the land during the research duration to prevent theft and cattle invasion.
He noted that the demonstrations are farmer-led, as farmers will keep records of the farm activities and share the records with the nominated authorised representative of IITA-CWMP.
“They will ensure to apply all the inputs (fertilizer, herbicides, and planting materials) provided by IITA-CWMP and in the prescribed manner. Another condition is that farmers will be responsible for all the cost of the farm operations (slashing, burning, ploughing, fertilizer application, herbicides application and harvesting of the plot). They will notify IITA-CWMP when the harvesting period is due and both parties will carry out harvesting of the crops.
“The IITA-CWMP on its part will provide fertilizers, herbicides, and planting materials to be used on the on-farm demo plot at no cost. The project staff will carry out harvesting on the land, in conjunction with farmers, and will be responsible for collating all necessary data on the on-farm demos,” he said.
Atser said all proceeds, except 30 per cent of cassava stems, from the demonstration plot will go to the farmers, provided the farmers keep to the terms of the agreement.
He added that participating farmers have pledged to keep to terms and conditions of the agreements, which they said would foster cooperation between them and researchers.
Last year, the project established 58 on-farm trials across cassava producing zones.
The Project Leader, IITA-CWMP, Dr. Alfred Dixon, said acceptance of the project by farmers was a welcome development. “We see high enthusiasm from the farmers, meaning that we are addressing development needs.”