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Improving cassava for enhancing yield, minimizing pest losses and creating wealth in sub-Saharan Africa

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Rodomiro Ortiz
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

This article provides an overview of cassava research in sub-Saharan Africa considering that an effective means to alleviate poverty, and in turn its inseparable partner hunger, is through agriculture and the production of more nutritious and profitable food. As pointed out by the Director-General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Hartmann (2004), “a successful approach cannot only be about agriculture —it has to recognize the vital role it plays in the bigger picture. The strength of the IITA approach of local production, wealth creation, and risk reduction, is its embrace of strategies that recognize that the issues that contribute to poverty are intertwined. The degree of impact from this approach depends on several factors, not least of which is an investor and implementing entity choices. The choices investors make in how activities are financed may be as important as how much. Equally, the choices made by development institutions such as IITA and its national and regional partners on problem definitions and research-for-development methods, are also critical.”