The various digital tools developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, to scale agronomic recommendations and help farmers improve productivity are currently changing the face and practice of agricultural extension in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. This assertion was made recently by the IITA Digital Extension and Advisory Services Specialist, Godwin Atser, while delivering his contract review seminar titled “Digital disruption in the scaling of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management & Best Planting Practices toolkit.”
During the seminar, Godwin took his online audience through vivid explanations of how the digitisation of the project’s Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management toolkit, created by the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, was revolutionising the art, science and practice of dissemination and agricultural extension services. The Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices toolkit, popularly called “Six Steps” is a complete package that addresses all aspects of good agricultural practices in cassava production. It is helping farmers to double their cassava yield to more than 20 tons per hectare from the current national average of nine tons per hectare.
The toolkit prescribes best bet practices in site selection, weed identification, herbicides application, tillage operations, weed management, plant spacing, post-emergent weed management and cassava agronomy principles. The Six Steps have been fully integrated into AKILIMO, a comprehensive digital advisory service for cassava.