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Obasanjo Farms commissions new cassava plantlets tech in Ogun

A new cassava breeding technology (Green House Technology) has been commissioned at the Olusegun Obasanjo Farms, Owiwi in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State.…

A new cassava breeding technology (Green House Technology) has been commissioned at the Olusegun Obasanjo Farms, Owiwi in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State.

“The new technology has the capacity to produce about three million plantlets of cassava annually,” Kehinde Akinyemi, the Special Assistant on Media to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, disclosed in a statement.

According to him, the new technology puts the country behind the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), making her the second in Africa to have such new farm technology in the continent.

He said the project; Semi Autotrophic Hydrophonic Facility for Cassava Stem Multiplication, under the Technology for African Agric Transformation project is in partnership with the IITA and was first introduced to the DRC, which the government accepted and adopted into practice.

He explained that it was during the visit of the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, to the President of the Central African country, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, last year, that the idea to implement the new cassava green technology to Nigeria was moved.

At the commissioning ceremony, Obasanjo commended the IITA under the leadership of its outgoing Director General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, for his foresight in bringing the technology to Africa.

The former President assured that “as we can see that it is evolutionary, we are taking the product of research and we are bringing it to commercial to produce for our needs and others.

“This is a technology that can grow cassava and get maximum level. This particular specie can give you 30tons per hectare and that is what we are on with the consultant,” Obasanjo said.

The Executive Director of Obasanjo Farms, Dr Adeyemo Jamiyu, extolled the former president for his vision for agriculture, stressing, “Baba as at today sees agriculture as agric business and what we are witnessing today is just part of that vision that for an agric business to create wealth and employment, elements of science should be incorporated.

“Baba has linked cassava production with science by his investment in this project to further empower millions of cassava farmers in the country. And to have that come to pass, there must be that part of science, which is being incorporated into agriculture. So today, we are seeing that aspect of the breeding operation in the crop sector with cassava as a point of reference,” Adeyemo said.

At the tour of the facility, guests were shown how pathogen-free cassava stems are multiplied with emphasis on its genetic potential and stress free in handling with respect to transportation.

“At full capacity, the screenhouse has the potential to hold about one million plantlets, which is planting materials for 50ha, and this volume can be repeated 2 to 3 times a year. So, this can produce about three million plantlets annually,” Obasanjo said. 

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