IITA Cassava Weed Management Project successfully held Annual Review & Work Planning Meeting in Ibadan

Researchers, policymakers and farmers working under the Cassava Weed Management Project met at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, 29-30 April 2015, to review achievements made by the project in 2014, and to plan for 2015.
The meeting which had eleven presentations covering the activities of the project in 2014, provided a platform for stakeholders to compare notes and share lessons learnt.
Declaring the meeting open, Deputy Director General (Partnerships & Capacity Development), IITA, Dr Kenton Dashiell commended the project for its excellent implementation, and encouraged partners to sustain the momentum and work together for the task ahead.
Dr Lawrence Kent praised the Project’s team for meeting the milestones for the year.
“I was impressed when I read your report… you did exactly what you promised in the work plan,” Dr Kent said.
While expressing confidence in the leadership of Dr Alfred Dixon (Project Leader), and Prof Friday Ekeleme (Principal Investigator); Dr Kent lauded the participatory management style and transparency adopted by the project leadership adding that it had been a great motivation to the whole project team.
Earlier, Dr Dixon in his remarks noted that the importance of the meeting could not be overemphasized because of several reasons cutting across crop losses, low yield and the negative health impact of weeds on farm families.
He said, “As we speak, there is a high probability that a child between the age 5 and 14 years old is withdrawn from school to assist weed a cassava farm. If this is not happening, I can bet that many women are weeding cassava fields under duress. Because of prolong bending to carryout hand weeding with hoe and cutlasses, most of these women end up having back aches. Also as we speak, several cassava farms are being abandoned because of weeds.”
He called on the team to redouble efforts to help solve the menace of weeds in Africa.
For activities marked for 2015, participants at the meeting broke into four groups: Agronomy, Communication & Knowledge Exchange, Mechanical, and Herbicides Screening.
The four groups developed work plans which were carefully reviewed during plenary sessions and adopted.
The meeting had 64 participants in attendance drawn from IITA, National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, chemical companies (Bayer Crop Science, Syngenta), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), regulators – Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Environmental Standards Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Cassava Growers Association, Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs), and the private sector.

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