OGUN, BENUE STATES SELECTED AS PILOT LOCATIONS FOR THE PARTICIPATORY SURVEILLANCE ON CASSAVA VIRAL DISEASE MANAGEMENT

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Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture yesterday hosted the Advocacy and Sensitization Meeting on Cassava Viral Disease Management through Participatory Surveillance held at the Ogun State Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Hall at the State Secretariat Oke Mosan.

The meeting which was facilitated by the Central and West Africa Virology Epidemiology (WAVE) Project was aimed at raising the awareness and training Cassava farmers, Extension Officers, Cassava seed multipliers/seed entrepreneurs and other critical stakeholders in the Cassava sector, on the use of healthy planting materials, symptoms recognition to prevent the incursion and spread of Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) in West Africa.

The WAVE project is an international research programme funded from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Foreign, Commonweath and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom and is being implemented in ten West and Central African countries including Nigeria. The programme also works closely with smallholder farmers and national key stakeholders such as Researchers, Extension Officers,Seed Multipliers, Scientists and Policy Makers to put in place preventive control measures to mitigate the impact of these viral diseases.

Ogun and Benue State were selected as pilot locations for the participatory surveillance intervention for the South West and North Central Zones of Nigeria respectively, being the largest producers of Cassava in the two zones.

Declaring the meeting open, the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture in Ogun State, Dr. Adeola Odedina hinted that Ogun State has one of the biggest Cassava Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) in the country, hence the importance of the participatory surveillance Programme to help improve Cassava productivity which in the long run would ensure Food and Nutrition Security, in line with the Agricultural Agenda of Ogun State.

The meeting also had in attendance, the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Benue State, Dr. Timothy Ijir; the Vice Chancellor of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State ably represented by Prof.(Mrs) Olasehinde, Country Director of HarvestPlus, Dr. Paul Ilona; Country Director, WAVE Project, Nigeria (South West and North Central) Dr. Angela Eni; Country Director, WAVE Project, Nigeria (North West and North East), Prof. Ibrahim; Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Agriculture in Ogun State and Benue States; Nigeria Cassava Growers Association, Cassava Seed Entrepreneurs, Stakeholders in the Cassava Sector and other key Management officials of Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture.

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