Building an Economically Sustainable, Integrated Cassava Seed System in Nigeria (BASICS) is a 4-year multi-partner project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with Roots Tuber Banana (RTB) of International Potato Centre (CIP) as principal recipient. The project commenced on 5th November 2015, and will end in December 25, 2019. The proposed program comprises of five components: breeder seed, village seed entrepreneur model, processor associated model, quality seed component, and project coordination and M&E. The partners in the project include, Root, Tuber and Banana (RTB), International institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Context Network (US), Fera (UK) and CRS.
To have a crop of vibrant entrepreneurs sustainably managing profitable cassava seed businesses and satisfying the demand of farmers for quality seeds of market driven cassava varieties.
To sensitize and mobilize 80-120 VSEs in 18 LGAs in Benue state, with a minimum of 60 of them becoming vibrant and economically sustainable enterprises by 2019. VSEs will increase their demand for foundation planting materials, and planting 32,000 bundles of 6-9 varieties of farmer-preferred cassava varieties over four planting seasons on a cumulative of 580 hectares of fields and selling at least 80% of certified seeds produced to farmers within and outside Benue state. We envision the cassava farming population becoming more and more aware of the importance of planting high quality cassava planting materials, thus leading to an increased demand for certified planting materials of improved varieties.
|S/N||COMMON NAME||FEATURED TRAITS|
|1||IITA-TMS-IBA30572||High dry matter (25%), moderate CMD resistance, early bulking, high starch and high yielding (> 25 t/ha)|
|2||NR8082||High yielding (> 25 t/ha) - NRCRI, Umudike|
|3||TME419||High dry matter (25%), high CMD resistance, high yielding (> 25 t/ha), poundable and high starch|
|4||IITA-TMS-IBA980505||High CMD resistance, high starch, high yielding, early bulking|
|5||IITA-TMS-IBA980581||High dry matter (25%), high CMD resistance, high yielding (> 25 t/ha), stay green and drought tolerant|
|6||IITA-TMS-IBA011368||Vitamin A cassava, yellow roots, moderate CMD resistance and high yielding (> 25 t/ha)|
Our seed entrepreneurs undergo series of training in cassava stem production to enable them produce good quality planting materials for the market.
Our seed entrepreneurs mandatorily procure high quality foundation materials from IITA/NRCRI for multiplication.
Planting materials sold by seed entrepreneurs are approved by NASC before sales
Stems are specifically produced for planting and sold within optimum age to engender high germination percentage
• Our varieties are high yielding and enable farmers to increase their profits
NRCRI and IITA are leading the effort to produce breeder seed annually to supply foundation seed producers in Benue, Southwest, and South-South/South-East focus areas. Breeder seed fields are isolated from other cassava plots and managed for high quality and monitored in collaboration with the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) with backstopping from Fera. Multiplication of breeders seed is advanced by a novel technology employed commercially in South America by SAHTECNO (SAH) technology. The SAH technology is an autotrophic hydroponic system to rapidly increase the multiplication rate of clonally propagated crops in a cost-effective way.
The Quality component of the project is being implemented by a consortium of Nigerian and international partners led by the UK’s Fera science Ltd (Fera). This component will involve
(1) increasing the capacity of the NASC to develop and implement appropriate and enabling seed quality standards, including the provision of molecular diagnostic testing services for pests and cultivar authenticity ,and knowledge tools for field certification and seed production tracking;
(2) strengthening the evidence base for setting breeders and non-breeders certification standards, validating protocols and training in use and
(3) developing a recommended listing for farmer and industry preferred cassava cultivars that takes into account agronomic factors and seed degeneration rates.
Potential cassava processors with interest in supplying foundation seed have been preliminarily identified in Southwest Nigeria; several participated in the April 2015 stakeholder consultation meeting. These processors work in the flour, starch, and gari value chains and have hundreds to thousands of hectares of cassava under production.
Through the Village seed entrepreneur (VSE) Component, VSEs will produce cassava seed commercially. This component is led by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Benue State. The CRS model is a continuation of the Sustainable Cassava Seed Systems (SCSS) model but with an effort to operate more intensely by establishing several VSEs in each government area. The major anticipated outcome is that small and medium-holder farmers in Benue State increase cassava productivity and income by 20% using high-quality improved and new varieties of planting materials.
Capacity will be built through expert training programs delivered by specialist partners in Nigeria (IITA and NRCRI), the UK (Fera), and through South South linkages with sister certification agencies in East Africa—e.g. the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services.
Project coordination is by RTB and covers monitoring and evaluation (M&E), communications, and cassava stem coordination along the value chain. It also supports the project steering committee, annual meetings, and prepares overall project plans and reports.