On 7 August, IITA GoSeed, in Ibadan and Umudike Seeds based at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umuahia, jointly commissioned two brand new 18-ton trucks to ease logistical challenges in moving cassava seed.
IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga presided over the ceremony at the Agricultural Transformation building of the CGIAR-IITA headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria. The trucks were purchased with support from the Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Seed System (BASICS-I) project.
Cassava has the potential to provide more than twice the amount of food and income it is currently providing to farmers, processors, seed producers, and consumers. The way to maximize the potential of cassava is to strengthen the seed system by ensuring that quality early generation seed of improved varieties is made available to farmers at the right time and quantities. IITA GoSeed was launched under the BASICS-I project to handle the production and commercial sale of certified early generation cassava seed.
Speaking at the event, DG Sanginga congratulated IITA GoSeed Vegetative Manager, Mercy Elohor Diebiru-Ojo, and the entire IITA GoSeed team for the progress made in distributing quality seed, especially during the current COVID-19 crisis. “I can only be proud of GoSeed and IITA,” he said.
IITA Deputy Director General Partnerships for Delivery Kenton Dashiell commissioned the trucks with the DG. Dashiell appreciated the BASICS I and II projects for extending the use of the trucks to transport seed and planting materials of all IITA mandate crops after RTB Project Management Officer, Richard Ofei had mentioned that the use of the trucks is not limited to transporting cassava alone. “This is for the benefit of African agriculture as farmers can easily get access to good seed,” Dashiell said.
IITA GoSeed’s partnership with the BASICS I project continues into BASICS II. GoSeed is also open for partnership to help provide quality and improved varieties of seed to seed companies and farmers.
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