B.A. Aighewi, M.O. Akoroda and R. Asiedu
The unavailability of good quality seed yams (Dioscorea rotundata Poir.) is frequently cited to be responsible for the slow rate of growth or decline in yam production. Current production, storage practices, and quality of seed yams in 35 villages of Oyo North, Asaba, Lokoja and Lafia areas of Nigeria were studied by survey. Over 57.9% of farmers used only seed yams from their farms. All farmers practiced double harvesting together with other traditional methods of production. Between 50.0 – 65.0% of farmers in Asaba treated seed yams before planting to protect against beetle attack, while at other locations less than 35% did any form of treatment. Storage in situ or planting shortly after harvest is widely practiced in Oyo North, Lokoja and Lafia areas. The yam beetle and scale insects caused much damage to seed yams at Asaba and Lokoja, respectively. About 47.4 – 90.0% of farmers had a combination of pests and rots on their seed tubers.