Twenty three participants drawn from partner organizations benefited from a three-day Training of Trainers workshop on the use and maintenance of mechanical weeders in cassava farms.
The ToT, which was held 25 – 27 May 2015 at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan, was coordinated by the IITA led Cassava Weed Management Project. The ToT came after Nigerian engineers brainstormed and modified some imported motorized tillers from the United States. Other equipment used for the training included manual weeders acquired from AfricaRice Center.
The ToT will pave the way for extensive testing of the machines on farmers’ fields billed to take place later this year across four states in Nigeria.
Engineer Thierno Diallo took both theorectical and practical sessions assisted by Godwin Atser, Communication & Knowledge Exchange Expert for the Cassava Weed Management Project.
Dr Alfred Dixon, Project Leader, Cassava Weed Management Project commended the progress made in the modification and adaption of the mechanical weeders, noting that the equipment would alleviate the pains associated with manual weeding using hoes and cutlasses.
Participants were drawn from the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM), Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), all of which are partner institutions of the Cassava Weed Management Project.
At the field, participants were given plots to identify and measure weeds before the weeding exercise began. Some of the participants expressed enthusiasm during the training and promised to put to use knowledge gained from the 3-day training.
Mr Osunleti Samuel, a participant from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), said it was a great experience for him.
Prof Friday Ekeleme who addressed participants at the closing ceremony urged them to put to use the knowledge gained.
The ToT workshop was funded by IITA Cassava Breeding Unit, IFAD-High Quality Cassava Flour Project, HarvestPlus, Postharvest Utilization Unit headed by Dr Bussie Maziya-Dixon, Cassava Transformation Agenda project, and Cassava Weed Management Project.
For more information, please contact: Godwin Atser, firstname.lastname@example.org