Yam improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA-II) will develop and scale out seed yam businesses that will provide healthy seed of more productive varieties leading to adoption of new improved varieties to enhance productivity and food security for smallholder farmers, increase and sustain incomes of certified Seed Enterprises (SEs), and enhance gender equity.
The proposed $12million 5-year project seeks to develop and establish a functional, commercial seed yam seed system in Nigeria and Ghana to benefit smallholder farmers through timely and affordable access to high quality seed yam tubers of improved varieties.
YIIFSWA-II is based on a three-pronged approach:
- demonstrate the profitable business opportunity in using the Aeroponics System (AS) for basic seed yam production and
- provide technical and business advisory services for private seed companies to engage in production of high quality basic seed yam using AS; and
- increase the supply of certified seed yam tubers from vibrant and profitable seed entrepreneurs (SE) at an affordable price to ware yam producers.
The success of the SEs is linked to a dependable and affordable supply of quality basic seed from private seed companies.
Throughout-scaling high quality seed production technologies developed in YIIFSWA-I, seed companies-in partnership with national regulatory agencies-will deliver basic and certified seed yam tubers to seed entrepreneurs resulting in localized, scalable deployment centers.
In tandem with production enabling capacity, private seed company-led marketing will be supported to promote the adoption of improved varieties by smallholder farmers.
Based on the proven benefits of clean, quality seed yam to increase production by at least 30%, IITA and the partners, seek to establish a robust seed yam system in both Nigeria and Ghana that uses a market-based, integrated approach to deliver clean, quality seed yam of improved varieties to at least 320,000 smallholder farmers for long-term benefits.
An estimated 7,700 SE’s will supply approximately 247,000 hectares of ware production in 6 states of Nigeria and 2 regions of Ghana by the end of the project.
The beneficiaries of this project will be smallholder farmers that have a serious need for a sustainable source of clean, high quality seed yam of improved varieties – to improve their yields and incomes.
In reaching those beneficiaries, other groups such as the SEs will also benefit through sales of the high quality seed yam and seed business development skills for long-term livelihood improvements.
Likewise, capacities will be strengthened of the national yam research institutes- National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Nigeria and Crops Research Institute (CRI) as well as the private basic seed companies to profitably propagate enough quantities of high quality pre-basic and basic seed in a shortest time possible.