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Notes to broadcasters

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Cassava is a major crop in some parts of Nigeria, and the country is the world’s largest producer of cassava.

In these spots, you will learn more about a variety of activities related to cassava, including:

  • Site selection
  • Land measurement
  • Sourcing farm inputs
  • Obtaining stem cuttings
  • Applying fertilizer
  • Using pesticides safely
  • When to harvest cassava
  • Market information

The spots vary in length from about 45-60 seconds and could be played multiple times during programs on cassava production and marketing. They could also be played at other times when farmers are listening, especially during important times in the seasonal cassava calendar.

Script

SPOT #1:
SITE SELECTION

 

NARRATOR:
Farmers, how should you choose a site to grow your cassava?

Here are four tips to help you choose the best site.

First, look at the vegetation on the site. If it’s lush and green, the soil is fertile.

Second, consider the history of the site. If cassava has been planted there several times recently, don’t plant it again. If nitrogen-fixing crops like cowpeas, soybeans, groundnuts, or beans have been planted recently, that’s a big plus!

Third, consider the soil. Loamy soil is ideal because it drains well is not easily waterlogged, which causes cassava tubers to rot.

Fourth, how accessible is the site? Is it easy to transport tubers from the site to the market? Is it close to good roads that vehicles can navigate without damaging tubers? Can hired labour easily access the site?

Choosing a good site has many benefits. And it’s hard to overcome the disadvantages of a bad site.


 

SPOT #2:
LAND MEASUREMENT

 

FARMER 1:
[SPEAKING SOFTLY TO HERSELF] One hundred and two metres long and seventy-two metres wide …

FARMER 2:
Ok, now I know you’re crazy. You’re talking to yourself?

FARMER 1:
Oh, good morning, (name). No, not quite crazy yet, just measuring my land.

FARMER 2:
Why? Seems like a lot of work for nothing!

FARMER 1:
Not at all … Let me ask you something. How do you know how much fertilizer to buy for the season?

FARMER 2:
I don’t know … The same as last season.

FARMER 1:
The fertilizer bag says you must apply a certain amount per hectare, right?

FARMER 2:
I guess so …

FARMER 1:
By knowing exactly how much land I have, I don’t buy or apply too much fertilizer. Or too little. Too little hurts my yields. Too much hurts my profits.

FARMER 2:
Hmm, that makes sense … but isn’t it a lot of work?

FARMER 1:
Not if you have a good tape. And it’s only once a year.

NARRATOR:
Farmers! Measuring your land can increase your yield and income!


 

SPOT #3:
SOURCING FARM INPUTS

 

FATHER:
Son, now that we’ve sold a lot of cassava, we have money. So it’s time to buy farming inputs for next season.

But first, we need to prepare ourselves.

What do you think we need to know before we purchase farm inputs?

SON:
Well, we need to know what kinds of inputs we need and how much we need.

FATHER:
Very good! What else do we need to know?

SON:
We need to know which shops are the best to purchase inputs.

FATHER:
Very important—we need to compare quality and price between several shops. What else?

SON:
Hmmm … I don’t know. What else, father?

FATHER:
Well, there’s two more important things. First, we need to talk to shop owners and other farmers to see if there are new products and see which products work best.

SON:
OK. What’s the second tip?

FATHER:
Simple, son. We have to figure out how to transport all those inputs back to the farm! (LAUGHTER)


 

SPOT #4:
OBTAINING STEM CUTTINGS

 

NARRATOR:
Farmers, when it’s time to you to find some stem cuttings to plant, what kind of cuttings should you look for?

Here are five characteristics of a good stem cutting.

First, the spaces between the nodes should be close to the same size.

Second, there should be no cuts or other kinds of damage to the stems.

Third, the cuttings should be 9-12 months old.

Fourth, they should have five or six nodes.

And last, the stem should be cut in the middle, not too close to the ground and not too high up, so it is neither too woody nor too green.

If you remember these five things, you’re well on your way to a good cassava yield!


 

SPOT #5:
APPLYING FERTILIZER

 

NARRATOR:
Cassava farmers! Applying the right fertilizer at the right time it will boost yield and quality.

Here are four tips to get it right!

First, apply NPK 15-15-15 eight weeks after planting. Use 30 grams per plant or seven-and-a-half 50-kg bags per hectare.

Second, apply fertilizer in a circle around the plant or on the side of the upper third of each heap.

Third, ensure that fertilizer does not touch the cassava plant. And cover the fertilizer with soil immediately after applying.

Finally, make sure the soil is moist when applying your fertilizer.

Remember!

NPK eight weeks after planting.

Apply in a circle or on the side of the heap.

Don’t let fertilizer touch the plant and cover it with soil after applying.

Apply fertilizer when soil is moist.

Good luck!!


 

SPOT #6:
USING PESTICIDES SAFELY

 

NARRATOR:
Farmers. Here are five tips to keep yourself, your family, and the natural environment healthy when spraying pesticides.

First, always wear personal protective equipment. Wear a mask, overalls, a long shirt, goggles, and gloves.

Second, ensure that, when you spray, you don’t face into the wind to avoid being soaked with spray.

Third, mark off sprayed areas with a rope, cloth, or other means and ensure that no livestock eat vegetation in sprayed areas.

Fourth, keep chemicals out of reach of children. Children should never spray pesticides. They are much more easily poisoned than adults.

Lastly, keep pesticides in their own containers in a locked room. And, to avoid accidental poisoning, never use containers that previously contained sugar, salt, oil, or other foods.

Farmers! Make sure that pesticides work for you, not against you!


 

SPOT #7:
WHEN TO HARVEST CASSAVA

 

FARMER 1:
Good morning, (name). I saw you harvesting cassava and I came over to help. But those tubers look small. Are you sure they’re ready?

FARMER 2:
Well, the shop told me this variety matures in 11 months, and it’s 11 months since I planted.

FARMER 1:
Hmmm. Did you check to see that less than one-third of the stem is green and that most of the stem is woody?

FARMER 2:
No, they just told me to harvest in 11 months.

FARMER 1:
Hmmm … Are the leaves mature and is the soil cracking at the base of the plant?

FARMER 2:
No.

FARMER 1:
Then stop harvesting. Your cassava isn’t mature. You have to check these four things.

FARMER 2:
Remind me what they are.

FARMER 1:
First, less than one-third of the stem should be green. Second, most of the stem should be woody. Third, the leaves should be mature. And fourth, the soil should be starting to crack at the base of the plant.

FARMER 2:
Thanks, brother. You saved me a lot of time and money!


 

SPOT #8:
MARKET INFORMATION

 

NARRATOR:
Farmers! To succeed, it’s critical to have up-to-date market information. What is market information? It’s information like market prices, market trends, knowing who the off-takers are, and where the markets are.

Do you know how to access market information? Here are five ways:

First, talk to other farmers, with village processors, and with buyers.

Second, contact ADPs. They can help farmers identify trusted sources of market information.

Third, talk to input suppliers in your community.

The fourth way to access market information is by speaking with lead farmers and opinion leaders.

And finally, pay close attention to media such as radio, TV, and the internet.

Remember: good market information can mean the difference between profit and loss!


 

Acknowledgements

Contributed by: Vijay Cuddeford, Managing editor, Farm Radio International

Reviewed by: Bidemi Ajibola, Advisor, Cassava Value Chain, Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture & Food Sector, Nigeria

This resource was supported with the aid of a grant from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and its project “Green Innovation Center for the Agriculture and Food Sector” in Nigeria.