By Jeremiah Oke, Ibadan
August 21, 2017
Hundreds of graduates and youths in Oyo State and some other neighbouring South West states have mobilized into cluster groups for large-scale mechanized cassava agribusiness.
Speaking with newsmen over the weekend, the leader of one of the cluster groups at Igunrin village in Oyo State, Mr Abdulrazaq Abdulwahid Algozaar, stated that others in his Path-P Agricultural group comprised graduates of computer science, business administration, accountancy, education and medicine who resorted to the large-scale farm holding after futile search for white-collar jobs in the cities, and that the mechanized cassava production project became worthwhile for them as a result of the intervention of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) with support from the United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UKAID).
Under the scheme, he explained, AATF is providing each cluster group comprising about 20 graduates and youths with a cassava planter tractor with facilities for ploughing, harrowing, planting, spraying and harvesting to service their 40 hectare-farm holding, thus making farming less drudgery.
He said AATF was also providing training and linkages for stakeholders, notably the agro service agencies, financial houses and industrial end users under the value chain development programme.
Mr Idowu Friday, leader of another cluster group, called Otitolere in Ayetoro, Ogun State, disclosed that with the adoption of mechanization introduced by AATF, the group comprising 25 members had been able to grow their farm holding significantly while they had also overcome their initial challenges of marketing the cassava yields.
In his contribution, the AATF Regional field officer, Mr Abu Umaru remarked that the organization’s intervention was aimed at making it possible to revolutionize the cassava processes value chain from production to marketing.