An Ibadan base institute, namely, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has launched a seed yam propagation technology known as Aeroponics in collaboration with the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA).
The inauguration of the new technology took place yesterday on the National Institute of Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike, Abia State. Dr. Nobert Maroya, the Project Leader of YIIFSWA who carried out the launching of Aeroponics which is a system for effective high quality seed yam propagation said the technology was the prototype of such a system in the entire world. However, he mentioned the technology was first employed for Irish potato many years in the past.
He noted that this was the first time the Aeroponics technology was used for the propagation of seed yam across the globe. According to him, Aeroponics has not been used for the propagation of yam. But the institute according to him has been experimenting on the use Aeroponics for three years and they were able to obtain positive results.
According to him, the local types of yams have been adapted to the environment and that the Aeroponics can be used for the propagation of any variety of seed yam.
Maroya said that the institute was making sure that the yam generated through the technology is very clean by putting in materials that not just disease-free but also virus-free and clean.
With the technology, a solution has been provided to the problem of the inability of the country to produce high quality seed yam. The cultivation and harvesting of yam can be done all-year-round.
Dr. Robert Asiedu, the Director of West African Research for Development Director of ITA who spoke about the new technology said that it would enhance yam production and propagation in the country.
According to him, the number of yam being lost through disease and poor storage is estimated to be about 30 percent. With the machine, the problem will be solved.