Specialist urges farmers to reserve 10% of cassava stands during harvest for planting

Dr Richardson Okechukwu, a cassava specialist, on Monday advised cassava farmers to always preserve 10 per cent of cassava stems during harvest for planting in the next season.
Okechukwu, a specialist for the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), gave the advice while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“Cassava stems cannot be preserved, so when you are harvesting, do not harvest all the crops, leave 10 per cent of the stems for the next planting season.
“By doing so, you will not lose the cassava variety which you already have,” he said.
Okechukwu, however, said that fertiliser application was good for the cassava cultivation, adding that farmers should also engage in some kind of crop rotation in order to preserve soil nutrients.
“It is not good for the farmers to be growing cassava year-by-year on same soil.
“After two years of growing cassava, try to grow something like soya beans on the farm and move cassava to another location.
“So, this way the soil will be more fertile, especially when you do not have fertiliser to add to the crop,” he added.
Besides, Okechukwu called on cassava farmers to always think of the market before going into cultivation.
“You must know whether you are selling your cassava as fresh roots or process it into a product.

“The processed product determines the kind of variety you cultivate, as some cassava tubers have more starch than others,” he said.  


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