International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is set to enhance farmers’ income in the North through the adoption of better cultivation practices and promotion of groundnut export.
ICRISAT, an international organisation, is committed to improving food security, making smallholder farming profitable, tackling malnutrition by focusing on more nutritious crops, and helping overcome environmental degradation across the African continent.
The strategy include improved access to new seed varieties; inputs and services that foster technology penetration; improve productivity; introduction of post-harvest technologies and providing market linkages to strengthen sustainable agriculture based livelihoods .
Principal Scientist, ICRISAT-Nigeria, Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, said demand for improved groundnut varieties has increased over the years, making it imperative to develop varieties suitable to different agro-ecological zones of the country.
New varieties of groundnuts, according to him, are suited to the local soil and climate of the North. According to him, the institute will help small-scale farmers boost production and improve food security. He said ICRSAT has been working with national partners to develop improved groundnut varieties.
He said the gap between potential and realised yield was large in subsistence farming. To address these issues, ICRISAT has been working with national partners to improve productivity of groundnut with the support from Tropical Legumes and Groundnut up scaling projects through development andlarge scale adoption of improved groundnut varieties.
According to him, on-farm trials were established at four locations: Gumel (Jigawa State) and Zango (Katsina State).The locations were managed by ICRISAT with support from extension agents of the Agricultural and Rural Development Authorities (ADPs). Alongside, he said ICRISAT and IAR established and directly managed similar validation demonstrations at Minjibir (Kano State) and Samaru (Kaduna State) locations.