Cassava Weed Management; IITA, SON sign MoU to regulate marketable products
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Cassava Weed Management Project of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to ensure the regulation of manufactured products entering Nigerian market.
According to Project Leader, IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, Dr Alfred Dixon, “the MoU is to give the required degree of satisfaction to consumers through compliance with government policies on standardization and conformity assessment.
He added that SON under the MoU is also to ensure that goods imported into the country meet the minimum requirements of industrial standards or any other approved international standards.
“The MoU seeks to establish a link to foster cooperation for the development and implementation of collaborative programs while highlighting the framework for the partnership between both organizations,” he said.
Dixon gave areas covered in the MoU to include exchange of scientific information and developing specific cooperative programs and projects, especially in the areas of standardization, saying, “the signing of the MoU is a remarkable milestone in the efforts to help address the problem of weeds in cassava farms in Nigeria.
“The weed challenge is a huge task and we need all hands to be on deck to solve this problem. Our goal is to help farmers control weeds and improve the productivity of cassava,” he added.
Launched in 2014, the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project is employing the use of best-bet agronomic practices, mechanical weed control options, use of environmentally friendly herbicides, and the integration of the three options to control weeds.
So far, the project has procured, and is adapting mechanical weeders in collaboration with Nigerian Engineers. Once completed, local fabricators will be trained on the fabrication of those weeders for onward dissemination to farmers.