Olusegun Obasanjo farms in Owiwi, Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, have adopted the greenhouse technology for the improvement of cassava.
Mr. Obasanjo said he first noticed the semi-autotrophic hydrophonic setup for cassava stalk multiplication technology during a visit to the Central African Republic (CAR) last year and decided to introduce it to the Nigerian agricultural sector.
Using the technology, he said, the farm can produce around three million cassava seedlings a year.
The project, under the Technology for African Agricultural Transformation project, is in partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
Speaking at the start-up of the greenhouse on the farm in Owiwi, Mr Obasanjo praised IITA for bringing the technology to Africa.
“This is a technology that can grow cassava and obtain the maximum level. This particular species can give you 30 tons per hectare and we are working with the consultant on that,” Obasanjo said.
“At full capacity, the greenhouse has the potential to contain around a million seedlings, which is planting material for 50ha, and this volume can be repeated two to three times a year. So, this can produce around 3 million seedlings annually,” said the former president.
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Obasanjo Farms CEO Adeyemo Jamiyu said the development was part of Mr. Obasanjo’s vision to create wealth through agribusiness.
“And for that to happen, there must be that part of the science that is being incorporated into agriculture. So today we are looking at that aspect of the breeding operation in the crop sector with cassava as the benchmark,” said Mr. Adeyemo.
In a tour of the facility, guests were shown how pathogen-free cassava stalks are multiplied.
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