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IITA, farmers plan SARD–SC cassava implementation in Bo

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.