Tips on how cassava farmers can double their yield per hectare are now being aired on three Nigerian radio stations. The tips are agronomic recommendations which include the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices developed by the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The radio stations, said to have been selected based on reach and listenership, include Splash FM (105.5 FM), Harvest FM (98.9FM) and Amuludun FM (99.1FM).
According to the research done by the Cassava Weed Management Project, farmers are able to more than double the yield per hectare of cassava (from less than 10 tons per ha to more than 20 tons per ha) using the ACAI’s Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices extension toolkit.
The programme on Ibadan-based Splash FM which is also streamed online is aired every Wednesday, 7.00 PM – 7.30 PM and is anchored by Seun Akinola with Godwin Atser, IITA Digital Extension and Advisory Services Specialist. On Benue-based Harvest FM, the programme is aired in Tiv language by 1.00 PM -1.30 PM every Fridays and anchored by Joseph Kwaghdega with Atser, while Amuludun FM airs the Yoruba version every Tuesdays (5.00 PM – 5.30 PM) with Rasheed Adegbola as the anchor with Abiodun Olatoye, an extension agent with Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme. Plans have also been concluded to broadcast the programme on Radio IITA—an internet-based radio.
In the words of Atser, the traditional extension system is being overwhelmed and ACAI is using the radio platform to reach out to millions of farmers in Nigeria, since radio remains one of the major sources of information in swveral rural areas in Africa.
He explained that the radio programmes are aimed at changing the behaviour of farmers and influencing the adoption of ACAI recommendations.
Newspeakonline understands that ACAI plans to undertake a study on the effectiveness of the radio programmes after six months while some companies
Pharmaceutical and life sciences company, Bayer, is giving partnership support with more companies planning to sign-up.