Promotion of cassava in semi-arid zones of sub-Saharan African: Status of Cassava in Northern Nigeria

Pages 35-42

E.B. Amans, M. Tshiunza, B. Ahmed, A.G.O. Dixon, M. Mahmud, and M. Bokanga

ABSTRACT

Nigeria is a leading producer of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) but production in the Semi-arid zone, which lie between latitudes 10°N and 14°N, is relatively insignificant compared with the humid south. However, the strategic role of the crop in food security, particularly in this drought prone zone is well acknowledged among the people.  Therefore, a study survey was undertaken to determine what is the constraints and opportunities existing for the expansion of cassava production and utilization in the semi-arid zone of the country. The Repaid Rural Appraisal (RRA) techniques with structured questionnaires were employed for the study: The study revealed that inadequate knowledge of improved production practices, damages by livestock, insufficient rainfall poor yielding cultivars, pests and diseases were the major constraints to production.  Lack of a major postharvest outlet, other than local domestic consumption, is also a bottleneck to expansion. Simple analyses of these constraints and their implication are presented in the paper.

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