The out grower farmers of Psaltry International Limited (PIL) have started experiencing the positive impact of ACAI’s AKILIMO tool. A number of success stories in relation to the use of AKILIMO tools have emerged. Farmers from Ado Awaye in Iseyin Local Government of Oyo State under the out-grower scheme of Psaltry recounted stories about how their cassava production has drastically improved due to application of the recommendations gotten from AKILIMO on their farms. The farmers were delighted because this has translated to increase in their cassava yields, an experience that they have not previously had.
According to the survey results, 99% of the farmers confirmed to have implemented recommendations for best planting practices such as site selection, land preparation, weed control, and spacing (1mx1m). The farmers also adopted to grow the high yielding mkuranga1 cassava variety, as opposed to the previous planted local varieties.
The 2020 Annual Review and Planning for the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative was held virtually owing to the Covid 19 pandemic. Despite the unprecedented circumstance within which the event was held, the ACAI family and partners held a largely successful event.
Review meetings of this nature provide an opportunity to reflect on the activities of the project in the course of the year, the achievements, learnings and prioritize key actions points for the next year.
Months after the launch of the program to finance cassava farmers in Handeni district, coastal region of Tanzania, ACAI project conducted a series of trainings on the use of the AKILIMO agronomy advice tools and the proper interpretation of the recommendations deployed by the tools.
Nigeria’s National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS- https://naerls.gov.ng/) is in talks with the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project towards the integration of AKILIMO into government extension package in Nigeria. NAERLS is one of the 18 National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
KOLPING Society of Nigeria debuted a radio program to sensitize cassava farmers in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria, about applying improved agronomic practices by following recommendations given by the AKILIMO decision support tools. The radio program will be aired weekly by FLO-FM (94.9) radio station as a 30-minute interactive session.
Cedro Royal Multi-ventures, a partner of ACAI/RTB scaling AKILIMO project with headquarters in Abuja trained 400 grassroots cassava farmers on the use of the AKILIMO advisory tool for fertilizer recommendation (FR) and Best Planting Practices and weed management (BPP-WM).
In a bid to facilitate AKILIMO sustainability, partners agreed to continue the collection of data beyond the lifespan of the ACAI project. Remarks from partners during the planning meeting in Nigeria and Tanzania raised optimistic expectations; all partners considered data collection to be an essential component of their sustainability strategy in the use of AKILIMO tools in their operations.
Sustainability planning meetings were held respectively in Nigeria on 30th -31st of March, 2021, and in Tanzania on 22nd – 23rd of April, 2021. The essence of the meetings was to develop plans for continuous use of AKILIMO by ACAI partners and other initiatives beyond June 2022, when the ACAI project comes to an end. The meetings, hosted by IITA’s ACAI project, brought together 39 participants from the two countries (25 participants in Nigeria, 14 participants in Tanzania) cutting across various organizations. The workshop successfully harnessed the experiences and resources of partners, reaching a wide range of agreements on how AKILIMO will be sustained.