The YIIFSWA-II Abuja team, led by Dr. Beatrice Aighewi, visited Da-Allgreen Seeds Ltd in Kaduna for a week to train staff on the production of seeding using vine cuttings. During the 5th Annual meeting, several seed companies reported significant losses of vine cuttings after planting, thus limiting their ability to make swift progress with seedling production for transplanting on the field.
Before the training, the YIIFSWA-II team was given a tour of the production facilities, and then the company’s technical staff demonstrated how they handle, plant, and maintain vine cuttings. The following lapses were observed:
- After cutting, the single-node vines were not immersed in a fungicide solution or water. They were left dry in a container until the cutting process was completed, then only the stem part was dipped into the solution briefly just before planting.
- The vines had long internodes, and long stem portions were cut. At planting, the stems were not fully covered with the substrate. One of the cut stem surfaces was exposed (leading to a high rate of dehydration).
- Use of substandard fungicide for treatment (5% of product content instead of 80% WP).
- The rooting substrate, cocopeat, was saturated with water, reducing the oxygen content, facilitating rooting.
The IITA Team made the following presentations based on the tour and lapses in their procedures:
- cutting, handling, planting, and maintaining cuttings.
- Substrate preparation.
- The establishment of vine cutting for seedling production.
After the presentations, the YIIFSWA-II team had a two-hour discussion with Da-Allgreen staff on the observed lapse. During the talks, Dr. Beatrice Aighewi emphasized the need to follow the recommended protocols of IITA to limit the loss of planted cuttings. For instance, she said, “the best time to cut and plant vines in hot climates is in the morning or evening when temperatures are much milder than other periods of the day when it is very hot.”
On the second day of their visit, hand-on training was conducted for staff and casual workers involved with vine cutting and rooting. Also, Mr. Daniel Aiebhoria conducted a demonstration of how to plant mini tubers using polythene strips.
On the third day and fourth day, the YIIFSWA-II team facilitated the company’s vine-cutting exercise. A total of 110 plants were cut, and a total of 10,830 vines were planted. As of the 30th of March, they planted over 17,000 vine cuttings in the screen house.