SON to support Cassava Weed Management Technologies | Independent Newspapers Limited
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SON to support Cassava Weed Management Technologies

Posted: Apr 24, 2015 at 12:22 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has given its support to the Cassava Sustainable Weed Management Technologies, meant to help smallholder cassava growers achieve sustainable increases in their productivity.

The Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, who made the promise, said the country’s standards regulator will work with the Cassava Weed Management Project to tackle weeds ravaging cassava fields in Africa.

The commitment by SON is coming amid growing concerns over the threat of weeds to cassava production in the country, which has kept productivity low and behind other cassava producing nations of Asia.

He said: “Innovations and standards are correlated. So we would want to collaborate with you,” Dr Odumodu said during a courtesy visit to the headquarters of SON in Lagos by the body implementing the Cassava Weed Management Project.

The Cassava Weed Management Project is being managed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and implemented in collaboration with the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), and the University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM) is developing innovations that will reduce drudgery associated with weeding in cassava farms.

The project is exploring a mix of best bet agronomic practices, mechanical weed control, and the use of environmentally friendly herbicides to tackle weeds.

Project Leader, IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, Dr. Alfred Dixon said research findings from the project would help reduce the burden faced by women and children.

“It is estimated that women spend about 500 hours per annum to weed, and their children’s education in most cases is compromised as they are withdrawn from school to take care of cassava farms,” Dr Dixon explained, commending the SON for agreeing to work with the research team, and to bring on board SON’s expertise in the area of standardization.