Project releases disease-resistant cassava plantlets

About 30 million smallholder cassava farmers in East and Central Africa could benefit from a project that has mass-produced small plants of 19 varieties resistant to the crop’s two devastating viral diseases.

Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) cause losses estimated at US$1 billion every year worldwide, placing farmers at risk of food insecurity, according to the Nigeria-headquartered International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). CMD can lead to total yield loss, while CBSD affects root quality and renders roots unfit for human consumption and animal feed production. Read more.