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New SAH Technology Enhances Yam Harvest In Nigeria



The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is celebrating the huge success recorded by a new formulated technology that helps to accelerate and double farm produce. The Institute has also harvested yam seeds produced from the Semi-Autotrophic Hydroponics (SAH) plants with some tubers weighing up to 1.1 kilograms. The SAH plants were first transferred to the field on 5 June 2017 and harvested in November of the same year with the largest tuber of yam weighing 470 kilograms. Based on this initial success, the fields were planted between October and November of 2017 and harvesting started in May 2018 when the plants were 6 to 7 months old. SAH is a robust technique for efficient and rapid multiplication of clonal or vegetatively propagated crops with the potential to produce 720,000 plants per year. It is also a suitable technology that can enhance breeding activities. It has been used to produce seeds, particularly potato and cassava and multiple planting materials majorly for two varieties of Dioscorea rotundata and three varieties of D. alata. SAH technology is a lowcost, licensed method for high-ratio propagation of true-to-type virus free (VF) plants. The SAH facility for yam was initiated at IITAIbadan in April 2017, in the quest to expand the scope of technologies targeted at seed yam production and to complement the existing technologies, which are being developed or refined to meet the growing seed demand of yam growers in West Africa.