From GODWIN ATSER, Ibadan
In a 30-minute presentation to more than 300 researchers including members of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Kenton Dashiell acknowledged the efficient mechanism of the IITA-managed Cassava Weed Management Project (IITA-CWMP) in the core areas of partnership creation, research, and dissemination of innovations to farmers.
Dr Dashiell’s presentation, which focused on IITA’s Partnership for Delivery strategy, highlighted IITA’s renewed commitment to impact on farm levels and how the Institute is responding to Africa’s agricultural realities in the context of food security and wealth creation.
He noted that IITA’s scaling out approaches were based on excellent research at IITA and highlighted the role of partners as a critical component to the research and delivery continuum.
Other projects which featured in the presentation were the Ag Results project on the control of aflatoxins, N2Africa, the IITA Business Incubation Platform, and the IITA Youth Agri-Business program.
The IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, which began in 2014, has five components—three focusing on research and two on delivery and effective project management.
“All these components are integrated in a research-for-development model,” according to Dr Alfred Dixon, Project Leader, Cassava Weed Management Project today.
Three and a half years down the line, the project has developed an integrated weed control package that is now being disseminated to farmers at scale using diverse platforms such as traditional and social media, on-farm demonstration, extension agents, and spray service providers.
The integrated weed management technology is today showing farmers the best approaches to control weeds in cassava farming systems, making farming cassava less burdensome, and increasing yields.
The project intends to reach at least 125,000 farmers in its lifecycle of 5 years.
Dr Dashiell who oversees a portfolio of projects said the vison of the Partnerships for Delivery Directorate was to ensure that the excellent research being generated is delivered at scale, support policy dialogues, and promote youth and private sector entrepreneurship.