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Hundreds of farmers trained on new cassava

17 August 2012

Cassava farmer with harvest of disease-resistant cassava

Farm Africa staff have been exceedingly busy in recent months organizing training for farmers on a new disease-resistant variety of cassava that we have introduced.

The lives of smallholder farmers and their families have already begun to be transformed by our introduction of the new disease-resistant cassava. The previous cassava variety was decimated by the Mosaic virus. But the new disease-resistant variety we have introduced is ensuring that farmers now have enough cassava for their families both to eat and to sell.

Building on that success, we are now training more farmers in how to plant and cultivate the new cassava variety. We want as many people as possible in the area have enough to eat.

In just three months this year we have trained 573 farmers (62% of whom are women) on the new disease-resistant cassava variety.

An important part of the training is learning to identify the various diseases that can affect cassava and how to prevent them.

In addition to learning how to grow the new variety cassava, farmers have also been learning new skills that will help them market and sell their surplus crops more effectively. Collective marketing and selling will enable the farmers to get the best market price for their produce. Farm Africa has therefore trained 419 farmers (64% of them women) in group dynamics and techniques for working collectively so that they can form strong farmers’ associations and increase their bargaining and selling power.