By Tiva Ansumana in Bo
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, has concluded a two- day SARD – SC [Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Commodities in Africa] cassava implementation planning workshop for key cassava value chain stakeholders, to discuss the 2013 trial result and plans for 2014 field trials.
The implementation planning workshop, which took place at the J&E Resort, Campus View, Torwama Road in Bo, was also geared towards stakeholders agreeing on nationwide implementation in 2014, approved by the organisation’s headquarters.
In an interview with our correspondent, Natural Resources Manager and Agronomist for the SARD–SC project, Sylvanus Fannah, said participants at the workshop were drawn from collaborating partners, such as Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institution, SLARI, Njala University, Fourah Bay College, World Vision, farmers groups and factory owners.
Speaking on the overview of the 2013 projects achievements, Fannah said a lot was achieved in that several factories have been established in the country, and that the SARD –SC project construct an additional four (4) factories in in Kono, Bo and Tonkolili districts to support processing high yield cassava.
Presentations on promoting organised and assured markets for cassava farmers, solar energy research for dry cassava flour and soil nutrient enhancement and increased crop yield through cassava–groundnut intercropping were made by Ahmed Nanoh, Dr. Edmond Nonie of the Department of Physics at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Festus Massaquoi of SLARI respectively, while the sessions were chaired by Dr. Sahr Fomba and professor Dr. Tom Yorman.
Participants were clustered into three groups, representing the South, East and Northern. Regions to develop an innovation platform under the structure, partners, membership, terms of reference (partnership/membership) and scheduling and launching of local innovation platforms.
Mr. Joseph Kebelleh Bangura, District Agriculture officer, Bo; Catherine Sillah, World Vision ADP Manager in Kono also made presentations.