KOLPING Society of Nigeria debuted a radio program to sensitize cassava farmers in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria, about applying improved agronomic practices by following recommendations given by the AKILIMO decision support tools. The radio program will be aired weekly by FLO-FM (94.9) radio station as a 30-minute interactive session.
The debut session featured AKILIMO advisory content on scheduled planting and harvest of cassava (SPHS) to ensure a continued supply of fresh roots and to obtain high-quality starch content in cassava roots. SPHS recommendations provide the basic information on how to maximize cassava crop revenue, choose the best dates to plant and how to synchronize the best harvest dates of cassava with operational plans of your crop. The tool outlines a series of steps to follow in decision making to get the best results such as; when to plant, whether to clear and prepare your land, planting the right cassava variety, applying fertilizer, finding an attractive market for your produce and when to harvest.
The session was hosted the by the FLO FM presenter Temple Barrah also known as TC Barrah the Kolping Society of Nigeria Extension Specialist Peter Chukwu and ACAI Scaling and Dissemination specialist Thompson Ogunsanmi during a drive time morning show.
Apart from SPHS, AKILIMO tools provide recommendations for tailored fertilizer recommendation for cassava, six steps to cassava weed management and the best planting practices, intercropping cassava with sweet potatoes in Tanzania and Maize in Nigeria. Subsequent sessions of the program will feature the rest of the recommendations offered by AKILIMO tools and how to use the various formats of AKILIMO tools.
ACAI Project and partners identified radio as one of the most popular and effective communication tools to reach rural communities to disseminate AKILIMO tools and agronomy advice for improved cassava productivity and production. Kolping Society of Nigeria will sponsor the program airing weekly to promote the adoption and use of AKILIMO tools to get recommendations for growing cassava.
The Flo FM 94.9 MHz is estimated to reach about 2 million constant listeners within Abia State, Imo State and some parts of Port Harcourt, Enugu and Ebonyi cities in the neighbouring states. Kolping Society of Nigeria will also monitor audience response and provide information to ACAI about reach, adoption and use of the AKILIMO tools.