AKILIMO tool’s performance in cassava cultivation has greatly facilitated its acceptance and adoption of this technology. Thanks to the African Cassava agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project for developing and spreading this technology country-wide, which is helping many cassava growers to adhere to good agricultural practices and through that, cassava harvests at the Kitumbi demonstration plot in the Handeni district have been plentiful.
The remarkable thing is that, despite the fact that there was insufficient rain in this season, this demonstration plot produced a larger yield of six tons per acre. This achievement is due to the efficient use of AKILIMO tools.
AKILIMO offers a suite of tools and materials for cassava growers, extension workers, and organizations that promote improved cassava cultivation practices.
According to scaling promoter, Augustine Deogratias, the experience from the past shows that farmers in Kitumbi applied poor farming methods, for instance, they were not considering the use of improved cassava seeds and this led to poor harvest, often below four tons per acre.
“With this year’s drought, if farmers did not recognize the benefits of using AKILIMO, the yield on this plots could not have reached even one ton per acre,” Augustive said.
Kitumbi demonstration plot was established by scaling AKILIMO project to demonstrate FR and Weed Management use cases of AKILIMO as a way to help farmers achieve profitable production. The farmers participated practically in the entire cultivating process including selection of the site, hiring the tractor to plow and put ridges, applying fertilizers, application of pre-emergence herbicide as well as harvesting.
The farmers are so happy with the yields they have obtained while also believing that the effective uses of AKILIMO tools will open more opportunities for them in terms of increasing production as well as increasing their income. Farmers assure continued use of this technology based on the training they have received promise they will create awareness to their fellow farmers on the benefits of this technology in enhancing cassava yields.
ACAI is a 5 year Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project in 5 countries in Africa (Nigeria, Tanzania, DRC, Ghana, and Kenya) aiming to increase the availability of appropriate and affordable technologies to sustainably improve short and long-term agricultural productivity in cassava in the target countries.