Agricultural program

Our farmers' agricultural programme involves the following themes:

  • Support the adoption of improved farming practices through on-farm demonstrations, field and agronomic trainings and appropriate mechanization. A strong focus is put on ISFM (Integrated Soil Fertility Management) and crop rotation.
  • Reduce cassava disease incidence through the introduction of high quality disease-free planting material.

Improved Farming Practices

Cassava is propagated through use of vegetative parts. This entails certain problems, such as low multiplication ratio, bulkiness, short shelf life, and difficult dry season maintenance, which also does not encourage large scale farming. DADTCO focusses on the selection, treatment and handling of plant material. It is our conviction that it all starts with the baby, your plant material; its selection, the way the stems are harvested, transported, kept and cut into cuttings that decides if and how the plants will be established. For this purpose DADTCO developed extension materials that is targeting to eliminate the most limiting factors in small steps. DADTCO also takes the lead to make sure that one message is sent to the farmers and that other institutions follow these footsteps. DADTCO supports the multiplication and distribution of disease-free plant material. This part of the program is often supported by donor organisations and carried out by international agricultural NGO’s and agricultural research institutes in a PPPs (Public Private Partnership).

Smallholder crop

Cassava is fundamentally a smallholder crop. The reason is that part of the cultivation has to be done manually and does not lend itself to large-scale mechanisation. A large mechanised cassava grower will still need a high number of manual labourers shortly after planting the cassava cuttings, to replace the cuttings that did not establish. With mechanised planting, about 30% of the planted cuttings will die. Either these dead cuttings are replanted by hand with new plants or the farmer will take the loss. Experience shows that on large scale cassava farms, yields are between the 15 and 20 tons per Ha, while yields of 30 to 40 tons are not uncommon when replanting takes place. On small family-owned farms members of the family do the replanting themselves as there are only about 6,000 plants per 0.6 Ha. Good care and intensification give awarding responses, resulting in higher cassava yields.