A cassava producer in Bida, Niger, Miss Anastasia Musa on Sunday said that she use neem powder as an antidote against termites attack in the cultivation of the vitamin “A’’ cassava stem (cuttings).
Musa, who disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bida, is a producer under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).
“My experience about cultivating the vitamin “A’ ’ cassava is a practical one. When I first planted it half of the stems were eaten by termites because of the sweet juicy content.
“Then I decided to apply the neem powder made from the popularly called dogonyaro leaves and skin and my cassava cuttings were intact after cultivation.
“Ever since I have been using the substance to stop termites from eating my cassava cuttings which has resulted in increased yield,’’ she said.
On how she uses the neem powder, she said: “All you need to do is to rob the powder carefully on each stem before planting it in order to prevent termites’’.
The farmer said that the cassava variety mature for harvest between eight and 12 months.
She added that before the intervention of the IFAD-VCDP, she harvested between three and four metric tons of cassava per hectare but now she gets about 25 metric tons.
Musa said that with the VCDP cassava production has moved from production for consumption to commercial scale.
“The intervention programme exposed us to production of cassava in commercial quantity for local and industrial use.
“Recently I made N500,000 from the sale of my cassava unlike when I made little money and the remaining is consumed by the family,’’ she said.
She thanked the IFAD-VCDP for exposing them to modern techniques of farming and promised to continue when the programme terminates by June 2020.
NAN reports that Musa, 24 is an indigene of Kogi and a member of the Alfa Cassava Producers Corporative in Bida.
She also holds a Bachelor of Agriculture degree in Soil and Environmental Management from Kogi state university.