WAVE intervention by CSIR-CRI boosts cassava output in Asesewa

Science Improved Cassava
Science Improved Cassava

The Central and West Africa Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) project has carried out a demonstration on improved cassava varieties, and farmers have confirmed the outstanding yield that these upgraded varieties provide.

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is hosting the WAVE project.

The demonstration of the upgraded verities in the field took place in Asesewa in the Upper Manya Krobo district of the Eastern region.

This is an area where cassava is primarily processed into several assorted products, including gari, cassava dough, flour, and starch.

Dr Allen Oppong, the Country Director of the WAVE project explained that the initiative began in 2015 with the intention of enhancing root and tuber production through the management of viral disease threat as well as the adoption of more robust planting material for cultivation.

In addition to this goal, he said it strived to protect the availability of food, thereby ensuring food security and better the living conditions of farmers.

The WAVE project received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office as well as CORAF and the European Union.

Dr Oppong explained that the improved cassava cultivated on the demonstration farm included “Abrabo pa,” AGRA, “Afisiafe” and “Bankye hema.”

On the field, the farmers noticed that the types of improved cassava they planted received high yields in comparison to the yields of the native cassava on their different farms. This was seen in contrast to the fact that the local cassava yielded lower yields.

“It is worrying to see farmers working very hard on the farm and at the end of the day, they don’t get the maximum yield that they expect,” Dr Oppong said.

He added, “I therefore urge you to visit the various districts Department of Agriculture for such improved cassava sticks and cuttings.”

Mr Debrah Appiah-Agyekum, Director of Agriculture for the Upper Manya Krobo district, gave assurances to farmers that the office will provide them with technical help should they have any difficulties while cultivating enhanced cassava.

He advised farmers to switch to the enhanced kind of cassava since it needed less water for irrigation, was resistant to pests and illnesses, and could reach maturity in a year or less.

He went on to say that the flavour of these types of cassava is comparable to that of the local ones that they farm, which means that there will not be any issues with selling them.

Mr. Abaku Adam, a farmer in Asesewa, expressed his satisfaction with the introduction of the enhanced cassava and said that “if we adopt the new sticks and cuttings, crop yield will be high, and we shall earn enough income.”

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