Joy Adiele is a PhD candidate at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She is one of the pioneer students receiving operational support from ACAI project to facilitate her field research activities. Joy’s PhD research is focused on understanding the potential yield of cassava and the dynamic aspects of nutrient limitations in relation to water availability. This will provide insight and theoretical understanding of the crop’s responses to fertilizers in a wide range of agro-ecological zones. Joy’s research is directly tied to the Fertilizer recommendation and Fertilizer blending use cases under the ACAI project.
Her research activities include cassava trials spread through three different agro-ecological zones in Nigeria; the rain forest region, the transitional savanna and the guinea savanna. The rainfall amount varies within these regions, with the rain-forest recording the most rains and the least with guinea savanna. These trials are set up on farmers’ fields to estimate both the nutrient uptake of the crop and response of cassava at the different nutrient application levels, in respect to ACAI protocols and other fertilizer trials that address questions on her PhD research.
Over the past two years, Joy has overseen establishment and management of 30 on-farm trials in Edo state including three on-farm researcher managed cassava trials in Edo, Benue and Cross River States with the support of NRCRI in Umudike.
The extensive research is looking at factors that play a role in determining light and nutrient use efficiency of cassava, relative growth and death rate of the leaves, rate of development, and partitioning fractions. In addition, the work will help understand the dynamics of soil nutrient availability and uptake by cassava, in order to provide the right dose of fertilizer at the right time and increase the recovery rate so that optimal LAI will be obtained early during the crop’s growth period.
At the top of the agenda for this research however is the embedded ACAI objective to bridge the cassava yield gap based on knowledge generated from research trials and results.