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.
The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project scientists are working on optimizing crop models to improve the prediction of the AKILIMO decision support tools. The team is evaluating the performance of the Light Interception and Utilization (LINTUL) and Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) to predict the attainable yield of cassava under well managed agronomic field trial.
Four state governments in the south of Nigeria have allowed the African Cassava Agronomy Project (ACAI) project and its partner Sasakawa Africa Association (SG2000) to set up cassava demonstration and training plots for the AKILIMO decision support tools at all their zonal skill development locations.