The IITA-Cassava Weed Management Project and Bayer CropScience have conducted a Training of Trainers program for 60 persons including extension service providers, spray service providers, and other partners.
The training was aimed at building the capacities of stakeholders to effectively tackle the problem of weeds especially in cassava farming systems.
The ToT covered areas such as the Safe Use of Herbicides, Herbicides Safety and Application, Gender, Effective Meeting, Group Formation, Participation, Cassava Agronomy, Basics of Computer, Adult Education, and Report writing.
The training held 18-23 April was in response to the gaps earlier identified during the Training Needs Assessment of extension staff in Nigeria. Resource persons for the training were drawn from the University of Agriculture Makurdi, University of Ibadan, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, National Root Crops Research Institute Umudike, IITA and Esto Perpetua Development Initiative (EPDI).
The sessions on Safe Use of Herbicides, and Herbicides Safety and Application received support from Bayer CropScience.
Dr Mohamed Elsherif of Bayer CropScience, and Prof Friday Ekeleme, Principal Investigator for IITA-CWMP, took participants through practical demonstrations of spraying with knapsack sprayers and boom sprayers.
Participants were also taught the principles of calibration as a prerequisite for effective spraying.
Godwin Atser, Communication & Knowledge Exchange Expert, gave participants nuggets on participation and effective meeting, and its application at the community level.
Earlier, the Project Leader of the IITA-CWMP, Dr Alfred Dixon called on participants to make the best use of the training. He said the training was designed to enable them carry out their responsibilities more effectively.
Represented by Prof Ekeleme, Dr Dixon reiterated that the resource persons for the ToT were carefully selected and had the requisite knowledge on each of the subject matter.
At the end of the training, participants commended the IITA-CWMP for building their capacities.
Olatoye Abiodun, an extension agent with the Oyo State Agricultural Development Program, and one of the participants, said, “This training is timely and useful not just for training others but for practical application on my farm.”
Yet another participant, Betty Vembe, an extension agent with the Benue State Agricultural Development Program noted, “This training makes our job easier. I appreciate the IITA-CWMP.”