Former President Olusegun Obasanjo joins the bandwagon, elated about recent seed yam harvest
Wind back to mid-2019, to be exact 25 May. At the commissioning ceremony of the Senator Abiola Ajimobi Ring Road, Agricultural Transformation Building, and presentation of the OYSG Agricultural Policy Framework developed by IITA and NISER, President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed interest in setting up a one-hectare seed yam production for quality seed yam. This he said after seeing the robust and clean tubers of improved varieties from the Aeroponics System (AS) single node vine cuttings that were on display at the exhibition set up to promote some of IITA’s innovations.
Following up on his expression of interest, YIIFSWA-II established a one-hectare field with minisetts of Kpamyo, and Aseidu topped with AS-derived seedlings of Kpamyo at President Obasanjo’s homestead at Ibogun, Ogun State.
On 6 January 2020, President Obasanjo made the headline in Vanguard (i.e., Obasanjo enters farm, harvests yam in Ogun) as he led a team of harvesters to the field to harvest the seed yam farm established by the YIIFSWA-II project in June 2019.
On 9 January, his team invited YIIFSWA-II to assess the harvest, and advise on the sorting, treatment, and storage of the tubers harvested.
When asked about the former President’s thoughts on the harvest, Mr Semiu Ayinla, who represented Chief Obasanjo, said he was elated about the yield, particularly the sheer volume and cleanliness of the seed tubers harvested. He was also pleasantly surprised by the taste of the freshly harvested tubers after roasting and boiling some of the tubers on the spot to feed the harvesters on the field. Ayinla said, “We were surprised that the newly harvested yam tubers that we roasted and boiled were firm and sweet. We enjoyed the yam.”
President Obasanjo intends to use the seed tubers to establish a five-hectare ware yam field next cropping season.