John Meela, a farmer from Mkuranga District, Eastern Zone Tanzania with his harvest. (Photo: Grace Mahende)
The IITA-ACAI project is in the harvest season for the 2016 cassava trials across several sites in both Nigeria and Tanzania.
Mr and Mrs Ogiri Acha, cassava farmers from Otukpo cluster show the part of the cassava roots harvested from trials on their farm. ACAI is running Intercropping trials in Otukpo, Benue State overseen by Dr. Mark Tokula of NRCRI (Photo: Mart Tokula – NRCRI)
In Zanzibar, Dr Khatib Haji from ZARI, Pemba led his team in harvesting on station trials at Matangatuani for potatoes from Cassava inter-cropped with Sweet potatoes as well as on farm trials in Junguni, Madamwa, Kanyikani and Mbuzini-Miyapi on Pemba Island. According to Dr Khatib, the yield variation from different trials promising for generating reliable data in the analysis.
Sweet potato harvested from a 0WAP trial in Matangatuani ZARI research in Pemba, Zanzibar (Photo:Khatib Haji – ZARI)
The CIS trials harvest in Zanzibar kicked off late August at Kizimbani on station trials in Unguja and Matangatwani on station trials in Pemba.
“We are expecting very good data from the analyses after what we have seen so far from the harvests here on the Island in terms of distinction in yield from different treatments.” Dr Khatib Haji
In the south East of Nigeria, NRCRI in collaboration with SG2000 carried out harvests in 6 clusters of Benue State; Otukpo, Okpokwu, Katsina Ala, Buruku, Kwande and Gwer East. In Benue state, ACAI had 45 Cassava inter-croppped with Maize and 15 trials for Fertilizer recommendation.
Some of the roots harvested from trials in Nigeria and Tanzania (Photo: Laurent Aswile)
Dr Adeyemi Olojede, from NRCRI and ACAI activities coordinator in the South East of Nigeria is optimistic with the pace of the project and the results from the harvest especially in the South East region.
“Farmers are impressed with the outcome from the trials and we are now seeing increased interest from new farmers who are offering heir land for trials after seeing what we have achieved with their neighbors.” Dr. Adeyemi Olojede.
Cassava roots harvested in Benue State and in the Eastern Zone, Tanzania were impressively large, leading to a preemptive assumption based on various indicators, that cassava could be responding well to fertilizer.
Farmer sorting harvested roots before they are assessed for quality in Yala, Cross River state, Nigeria. (Photo: Innocent Onyekere)
In the Mkuranga cluster of Tanzania, the harvest from Nutrient omissions trials bore testament to this assumption. Laurent Aswile from the zone says it was both root size and the number of the roots on the step that has greatly impressed in the yield from trials under the NPK/NK treatments.
Harvest of the 2016 trials and data collection is still on going in different project sites.
(Additional Updates by Dr Mark Tokula, Laurent Aswile, and Grace Mahende)