Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) has trained no fewer than 60 farmers in Ondo State on cashew nursery practices, disease and fertilizer management, post-harvest handling among others.
The training themed: Good Agricultural Practices, was held on Thursday in Iwaro-Oka in Akoko South West Local Government Area of the State.
Declaring the workshop open, the Chief Executive Officer of CRIN, Dr. Patrick Adebola, said the training was aimed at expanding the frontiers of knowledge as well as expose the farmers through cashew soil requirements, sustainable agronomic practices and management of cashew insects and pests.
Represented by Dr. Ibiremo Olufemi, Director in charge of cashew, Adebola said the training became imperative so as to capture cashew in capacity building programmes.
“Our farmers are completely bereft of the indispensable knowledge on good agricultural practices on cashew production. We have been to many states and we considered Ondo State because it is churning out tons of cashew”
“It is very pertinent to make our trainees understand how to manage nursery for good practices and proper soil also helps in good production”
During the training, Dr. Cecilia Iloyanomon, said research has proven soil management to be the only way to achieve good yield, while she emphasized on visual and non-visual as the approach to selecting a good site for planting cashew.
Iloyanomon, who is a Soil Scientist, explained that the visual encompasses physical features to include knowing the type of weeds and earthworm activities on the proposed site, while the non-visual entails laboratory analysis of the excavated soil.
Similarly, one of the trainees, Mrs. Mokwunye who spoke on disease management for sustainable cashew production, noted that pests and diseases have caused economic damage to cashew production.
She said, “Diseases and Pests have occasioned serious damages to cashew production. Diseases such as Inflorescence, twigdieback and pests including: Stem girdler, Stem borer and termite do stymied the growth of the crop.
“The effect of this is that it reduces the yield, income and quality of cashew. Part of the measure includes pruning, timely harvest and application of appropriate chemicals”
On Climate change information, Mr. Anthony Agbongiarhwoyi, encouraged farmers to participate in cooperative Societies and other groups in order to have access to improved planting materials, loans and market information to boost yield.
He added, “Climate Change affect cashew Production and farmers need to be equiped with adequate information so as to properly adapt to the situation. Some of the climate information they need to know were getting weather information from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency NIMET for weather forecast that will guide farmers on when to plant. Other sources include Radio, Television, internet, Extension agents, seminar etc”
However, Dr. Mrs.O. Adegbie urged cashew farmers to be mindful of planting materials, adding that cashew production is a long-term investment that requires careful site selection”