By Sunny A. David, Awka

The IFAD Value Chain Development Programme, (VCDP) has commenced the in-season training for rice and cassava farmers at Igbariam, Anambra East Council Area of Anambra State on improved agronomic practices to ensure bountiful harvest in the state.

The Agriculture Production Officer, IFAD VCDP, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwukwelu, stated this during an inspection and demonstration of rice and cassava farm business school for 2018 farming season.

Mr. Chukwukwelu said that the in-season training is an optimum farm activities aimed at exposing and giving farmers all the necessary information required.

He listed the best agronomic practices for rice and cassava productions to include good land preparation, fertilizer application, farm hygiene maintenance, and some of the rightful steps to follow in cultivation.

He further encouraged the farmers to regularly inspect their field to identify its problem and make maximum use of the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge.

A Consultant, IFAD VCDP, Mr. Sunday Kanu, urged farmers to adopt practices like timely planting, use of improved varieties, fertilizer and good tillage in rice and cassava production, which according to him , will help to save the cost of herbicide adding that agro-chemical can be used as last resort.

He advised them to adhere strictly to the instructions given them and disseminate lessons learnt from the training to other farmers.

While reviewing the steps adopted on already planted rice and cassava crops, the Chairman Nwannedinamba and Leader Rice Cluster, Mr. Ominyi Anthony and his Cassava counterpart, Mr. Felix Anigbogu, narrated the processes in the two production, enumerating location, established date, right varieties for the production, plot size, spacing and Geo Reference as vital in crop planting.

They attested that adopting improved agronomic practices leads to high yielding crops, and complained bitterly that herdsmen attacked and destroyed their crops last farming season, listing lack of manpower and fund, death of crops due to inadequacy of water, pests attack and diseases as some of the challenges facing them.

A member of Brighter Future Corporation, Value Chain Development Programme, Mrs. Florence Odikpo who described the training as awesome, pledged to practice what they were taught and as well train others to enhance sustainable and increased production.

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