BY OLORUNFERANMI ODOFIN
In a bid to curb the spread of white flies affecting cassava farms , the federal government has distributed some inputs to farmers in Ondo, Edo and Ekiti States
The items included spraying machines and insecticides.
White fly infestation was recorded in some cassava farms in Ondo state last year
Addressing the farmers during a lecture at the federal college of Agriculture, Akure, FECA, the minister of Agriculture and rural development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar described White fly as a threat to food security and encouraged farmers noticing yellowish leaves symptoms to act Immediately.
This is a training for farmers to tell them what to do as all these things will affect the production of this our staple crop
Represented by the ministry’s coordinator in Ondo state, Mr Tony Otuonye, the minister maintained that the inputs coupled with the lecture was to sensitize farmers on effects and solution to the problem of white fly on farmlands.
The minister said, “The essence is to bring farmers to the awareness of white flies. It’s an old scourge, the cassava variety that were released then are loosing vigour.”
Also, the desk officer for cassava, federal ministry of Agriculture, Abuja, Mr Raji Hakeem and the FECA provost, Dr Akinyemi Fadimu explained that efforts were on to train middle level farmers on crops that could be resistant to diseases to ensure food security
“Basically the eradication is a work of research and we are collaborating with research institute to ensure that new variaties are evolved that will be able to resist this disease. They are whitish in color and when infected leads to cassava mosaic” the agric experts concluded
Two of the beneficiaries ,Mrs Faith Akinsulire from Ondo State and Mr Kunle Ojo from Ekiti State appreciated the federal government for the gesture saying such would improve food sufficiency
In attendance were 120 participants with forty farmers from each state.