Cassava farming saved us from hunger, death — farmers
Cassava farmers who participated in the weed management project organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, have said that cassava farming saved them from hunger, death.
Mr Godwin Atser, IITA Communication Specialist, quoted the farmers as making the assertion in a statement he issued to newsmen in Ibadan.
The statement stated that one of the farmers, Julius Kpenkpen, whose farm is located in Benue state, said that he and his family made money from the sale of garri processed from cassava.
“We sold and and also consumed the garri processed from the cassava we harvested from my farm in 2016.
“The returns from the sale of the garri were utilised in paying my children’s school fees and meeting other needs of the family.
“If not for cassava, many of us would have died from hunger; but thank God the money from the sale of garri saved the situation,” he said.
Another farmer Mr Aba Dapo, expressed optimism that he would be able to increase the size of his farm from the techniques he learnt from weed control technique.
Dapo said he cultivates cassava and maize in one of IITA’s Cassava Weed Management Project farms in Oyo state.
“On a plot of less than an acre, I harvested maize and sold them for N31, 500.
“I harvested cassava and sold them for N126, 000 and I hope to harvest cassava later this year from another field.
“Last year was good for cassava farmers; previously, I could hardly realise N22, 050 from the sale of cassava; but now the cost of cassava has improved,’’ he said.
Dapo described the knowledge he and the other participants gained from the Cassava Weed Management Project as “valuable asset’’ that would help to transform farming practices.
Hajia Musirat Olomitutu, another farmer, said the project had given her the knowledge, confidence and tool to expand her farm.
She commended IITA for impacting the techniques of weed control to farmers in her community, saying it would reduce the challenges faced by farmers in controlling weeds.