A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Posted 12:58 PM by Luigi
Power Tools for Cassava Farmers
More on the push for cassava cultivation in Nigeria.
This Day (Lagos), March 28, 2005
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture has strongly recommended the use of a hand-pushed power tiller for small and medium scale farmers to reduce cost of cassava production in Nigeria.
This was the outcome of a one-day meeting between Directors of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and scientists at the IITA-Onne Station in Rivers State.
The visiting Federal Government Officials comprising Eng M C. C. Ene, Deputy Director (Engineering and Mechanization), Mr. L.A Fashola, Assistant Director (Arable Crops Division), and Dr. (Mrs) E.O. Odia, Head of Unit, Fed. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Port Harcourt, were at IITA to know the best mechanization methods to recommend for small and medium scale cassava production in Nigeria.
At a meeting presided over by Professor Malachy Akoroda, Officer-in-Charge of IITA-Onne Station, participants discussed ways of making cassava production less cumbersome and more lucrative for Nigerian farmers. Professor Akoroda said now that the Nigerian government is providing the political will to support large scale cassava production in the country, it is pertinent to examine the best cost-effective mechanization options that will enable the farmers optimize production without destroying their land, and yet deriving the best possible yields from their crops. Cassava production is labor intensive. No single farmer can profitably plant one hectare of cassava using the back breaking manual labor.
Making a presentation on the cost benefit of cassava production mechanization using the power tiller, Dr. Chuma Ezedinma, Project Economist for the Integrated Cassava Project (ICP), said about 60 men will be required to clear one hectare of farm land in a day, at a whopping cost of about N30,000. This cost excludes land preparation, weeding and harvesting.
He said the average wage rates by farm activity in cassava production have increased 27 times in nominal terms over the last 10-15 years in Nigeria. Dr. Ezedinma said the power tiller is ideal equipment for small and medium scale farmers because it is not expensive. The average cost of the equipment which is manufactured in India is N800,000.
He said cooperative organizations could purchase the equipment through contributions and used for land preparation of members' farms in rotation, and on rental basis to generate income to the organization.
During a field demonstration of the power tiller, Mr. O.B. Adisa, Farm Superintendent said the equipment is designed till to 1.2 hectares, cultivate 1ha, plough 0.8ha, and ridge 0.8ha per day. In addition, the equipment can be used as water pump to deliver 440 liters of water per minute from a suction depth of 30ft with an over head length of 60ft high, while the trailer can transport 1.5 tons of load, at a speed of 13 kilometers per hour. He said the power tiller has a life span of about 20 years with good maintenance. He however emphasized the need for regular and adequate service to ensure optimum performance of the equipment.
The visiting officials were convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the power tiller is ideal for Nigerian farmers and thus, promised to make their recommendation known to the Hon. Minister.
* Comments:Post a Comment
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.