-But wants programme extended
October 20, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Senior Farm Manager at the Njala Agriculture Research Centre has stated that although the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), which is being funded by the World Bank has recorded major successes, there was need for it extension so that lots more technologies can be generated.
The center has been enjoying massive support from the bank through the WAAPP programme for the past five years, especially in the areas of capacity building and mobility.
The first phase of the programme, which started in 2011 with the aim of improving agriculture by introducing new technology, has been completed and the bank is currently doing an evaluation to see whether the project has yielded the required dividend for possible expansion.
During a visit to the center over the weekend, Michael Benya informed this medium that there were certain things on the field that needs to be rolled over, adding that cassava was a yearly crop that does not need intervals.
“We want to complete researches we have already commence in order for us to have good results for the benefit of farmers. There are certain things in the field which needs to be rolled out. Materials in our possession are a year old now and we need to replace them,” he said.
According to him, the role of the center was to embark on seed multiplication for Njala University for onward support to farmers, using nine value chains with cassava taking the lead.
Speaking on the successes of the WAAPP, Mr. Benya said they can now boast fifteen (15) laptops, four statistical software programs, five power tillers and one tractor among others, adding that the programme also facilitated the multiplication of planting materials.
He explained that in 2013 they project recorded 41.7 hectares of cassava multiplication at Taiama, Byelagore, Makeni, Kenema and Bo, using Sleekers 4 and 6.
He continued that as a result of the project they were able to supply planting materials to 30,000 farmers nationwide on cassava production, all aimed at helping farmers to multiply their varieties and make money.