Boosting yam productivity in Ghana and Nigeria

IITA and partners recently launched the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) project, supported by a US$12 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The project aims to boost yam productivity and double the incomes of three million yam small-holder farmers in West Africa. It will focus on increasing yields through better seed yam supply and improving markets for this underground, edible tuber.

A key priority of the project is to ensure that affordable higher-yielding pest- and disease-free seed yam are available to farmers, along with storage and handling technologies that can reduce postharvest loss. The project will also develop a host of new yam varieties that can address the challenges in yam production.

The project has major emphasis on training and capacity development of farmers and farmers’ organizations, and improvement of linkages of small-holder farmers to markets where a strong and steady demand for seed and ware yam allow them to realize the economic benefits of increased productivity.

IITA leads the 5-year project in collaboration with the national organizations of Ghana and Nigeria, the UK’s Natural Resources Institute (NRI), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

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