Six digital tools for smart cassava farmers in 2020

Cassava used to illustrate the story.
Cassava used to illustrate the story.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has developed digital tools that will be useful to Nigerian cassava farmers in the 2020 planting season and years after.

The organisation made this known in a press release signed by its Digital Extension and Advisory Services Specialist, Godwin Atser, on February 6.

This development will go a long way in helping cassava farmers address the numerous challenges they face in each planting season.

Nigeria ranked as the largest producer of cassava in the world, according to the Global Cassava Processing Report in 2019, showing that cassava plays a major role in the country’s economy.

Cassava is food and a major source of income to many in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is also used as a raw material for products such as ethanol, chalk, food, pharmaceutical, glues and among others.

“Africa is a major producer of cassava in the world, but many farmers are recording low yield per hectare (less than 10 tons per ha) due to poor weed management, wrong application of fertilizers, low knowledge of cassava agronomy, and the cultivation of poor quality seeds with low genetic potential,” Bernard Vanlauwe, Director for Central Africa Hub at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), said.

“On the flip side, countries in Asia have yield of more than 20 tons per hectare. This is not cheery news.”

Here are the eight digital tools and their functions:

1. Akilimo

Akilimo is an all-in-one agronomic advisory tool that helps cassava growers with knowledge and recommendations to intensify their cassava-based cropping systems.

Akilimo has the combined 3-2-1 service of Viamo, which makes it easier for any farmer to have information through their mobile phones.

Dialing 3-2-1 on any mobile phone with an Airtel sim card connect a farmer to this cassava agronomy information free of charge up to 10 times in a month. “All that a farmer needs to use this service is a simple mobile phone with an Airtel sim card and the ability to press 3-2-1 on the phone, the service requires no education and no internet and the advisory service on Viamo is available in English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.” according to IITA.

Click here: https://cassavamatters.org/akilimo/ to download the paper version of Akilimo

2. IITA Herbicide Calculator

The herbicide calculator is a mobile app designed to forestall incidents of under-dosing or overdosing of herbicides. The institute says the apps have been embraced by many cassava farmers in Nigeria, Tanzania and several other African countries.

“The app also prevents environmental pollution and herbicides resistance arising from herbicides abuse,” says Friday Ekeleme, a professor and principal investigator on Weeds under ACAI.

The app helps farmers and sprays service providers to estimate correctly, the quantity of herbicides to be added to knapsack sprayers and promotes the effectiveness of herbicides.

Click here: https://cassavamatters.org/iita_herbicide-calculator/ to download IITA Herbicide Calculator

3. Cassava Seed Tracker

This is a web-app that provides essential features for quality seed production, access to quality stem cuttings of improved cassava varieties from the accredited seed producers and registration of seed fields for accreditation by National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC).

The Seed Tracker has an android app version that can be downloaded from Google Playstore. The app provides details of improved cassava varieties released in Nigeria, the location and availability for ready access according to the organization. Also, the map-based curation features readily helps users to navigate for information and access seed sellers or buyers.

Click here: https://seedtracker.org/cassava/ to access Cassava Seed Tracker

4. Cassava Matters (Cassavamatters.org)

This is an online knowledge bank for farmers, extension agents, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the cassava sector.

It also serves as a collaborative platform between the Cassava Weed Management Project also known as the Sustainable Weed Management Technologies for Cassava Systems in Nigeria, the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) and the Cassava Seed Systems project also known as Building an Economically Sustainable, Integrated Seed System for Cassava in Nigeria (BASICS).

Click here to access Cassava Matters: www.cassavamatters.org

5. Cassava e-Market

The Cassava e-Market is an online market place for cassava and cassava-related commodities that helps the farmers to advertise and sell their produce. Other products like processing equipment, herbicides, fertilizers and even farmlands can also be advertised and sold here.

Click here: https://cassavamatters.org/e-market/ to assess Cassava e-Market

6. GoSeed Tracker

The organisation explained that the GoSeed tracker is a fully-featured program for real-time tracking of cassava seed production, including planting planning, registration of seed fields, crop management, harvesting, quality assessment and quality assertion.

The GoSeed tracker also serves as a digital platform for communication and networking of cassava seed producers and service providers. The tracker was developed by the IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP).

Click here to access GoSeed Tracker: https://seedtracker.org/index.php/iita-goseed/


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