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Morse S.,University of Surrey | McNamara N.,Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary
Experimental Agriculture | Year: 2015

White yam (Dioscorea rotundata) is a major root crop grown throughout West Africa but one of the major factors that limits its production is the availability of good quality planting material. This paper described the results of farmer-managed demonstration plots established in 2012 and 2013 designed to promote the Adapted Yam Minisett Technique (AYMT) in Nigeria. The AYMT was developed between 2005 and 2008 to produce quality seed yam tubers at a cost that is viable for small-scale farmers. Since its development the agronomic performance of AYMT has not been explored across a large sample of farmers, and neither has there been any attempt to explore possible varietal effects although farmers have often alluded to this. This papers seeks to address these gaps in the literature and the results suggest that the AYMT does succeed in producing seed yams of the required size and the economic returns are also good. Results also suggest that there is a varietal affect with AYMT, including a significant interaction with pesticide treatment; the first time this has been demonstrated. © 2015 Cambridge University Press.

Morse S.,University of Surrey | McNamara N.,Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary
Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems | Year: 2016

The article outlines some of the findings and insights achieved from efforts to establish a sustainable seed yam (Dioscorea rotundata) supply system in Idah, Kogi State, Nigeria. The activity was part of a project entitled “Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa,” spanning from 2012 to 2016, and this article covers the results of a novel and ambitious intervention designed to establish seed yam entrepreneurs as part of a wider initiative to establish a sustainable seed yam value chain in an area where none had previously existed. Seed yam production by the entrepreneurs was based on the adapted yam minisett technique (AYMT) and results between 2013 and 2015 suggest that the agronomic performance of AYMT under “farmer-managed” conditions was good, with reasonable yields of yam and an average weight (0.8 kg) in the required range for grade 1 seed yams. The entrepreneurs achieved a good economic return (gross margin) and this translated into a return on investment of around 400–600%. However, for the seed yam system to be sustainable in the Idah area, there is a need to establish a value chain that links traders with growers. © 2016 Taylor & Francis.

McNamara N.,Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary | Morse S.,Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary | Morse S.,University of Surrey | Ugbe U.P.,DFID Research into Use Programme | And 2 more authors.
Outlook on Agriculture | Year: 2012

This paper explores the results of a programme designed to facilitate entrepreneurship centred on healthy seed yam (Dioscorea rotundata) production on the eastern bank of the River Niger. Ware yam farmers residing along the eastern bank, upstream of the Niger/Benue confluence, source their planting material from towns such as Ilushi in Edo state, which involves significant travel and expense. The project encouraged 10 ware yam farmers living in Edeke village (Idah local government, Kogi state) to specialize in healthy seed yam production by employing the adapted yam minisett technique (AYMT). This employs a sett size of around 80-100g treated with a joint insecticide and fungicide dip. The treated setts are planted directly into the field, not first planted into a nursery as with the yam minisett technique (YMT). The Edeke farmers received a loan from the Diocesan Development Services (DDS) to employ the AYMT to produce healthy seed yams on a significant scale. However, while sales of seed yam by four of the farmers generated a significant and positive gross margin, six farmers opted to plant their seed yams in the subsequent season (2012) to produce ware yams. This paper presents some of the results, and discusses the decisions taken and the dilemmas faced by the farmers in the production of seed and ware yam and the possibility of initiating and developing new markets for seed yam in the Idah area.

Morse S.,University of Surrey | Mcnamara N.,Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary
Geographical Journal | Year: 2012

The paper discusses the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA) as implemented by a Catholic Church development organisation (Diocesan Development Services; DDS) in Nigeria, including the trade-offs involved and the meaning of 'success' with this process. SLA sets out to assess the ability of a social unit to enhance its assets and capabilities in the face of shocks and stresses over time and could be said to be a practical framework for evidence-based intervention. DDS implemented an SLA to help provide the basis for changes planned to an existing intervention, namely micro-credit. Given the challenges involved in SLA, DDS decided upon a number of trade-offs to balance the significant cost in resource against what it was looking for from the process. The first driver was a perceived need from DDS to provide quality evidence to help plan changes to its micro-credit scheme. The evidence gained from the SLA was also intended to help provide credibility when approaching major donors for support with the scheme. Secondly there was a desire to use the SLA as a means to identify and work with a group of households in an area where DDS had little prior experience on the assumption that these households could form the basis for a wider involvement with the community. © 2011 The Authors. The Geographical Journal © 2011 Royal Geographical Society(with the Institute of British Geographers).

MORSE S.,CES University | McNAMARA N.,Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary
Experimental Agriculture | Year: 2016

This paper describes the results of 3 year's data from farmers using the Adaptive Yam Minisett Technique (AYMT) to produce seed yams in Nigeria. A total of 30 sites were established each year between 2013 and 2015 in the Idah area (Kogi State) of Nigeria and 58 plots in the Amoke area (Benue State) in 2015. Each site had yam setts (80 to 100 g) untreated and treated with a pesticide ‘dip’ prior to planting and farmers (male and female) were free to select the variety and manage the sites as they wished. In line with previous research, the results suggest that treatment does increase the weight of tubers produced by a sett but not necessarily the number of tubers. Varietal differences were also observed. For the first time, the results suggest that the time of planting does have a significant impact on seed tuber weight, with later planting leading to small tubers. Also, the gender of the farmer had an impact on some of the agronomic variables, with male owners of the site generally producing more and larger tubers per sett planted and sprouted than female owners. Various mechanisms for the latter are discussed in the paper. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016

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