Famine threatens DR Congo
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CTA. 2001. Famine threatens DR Congo. Spore 93. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46178
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore93.pdf
The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing serious food shortages as a result of years of civil war in the country. Yields of cassava, a staple food for 70% of the population, are particularly affected and its deterioration seriously affects the...
The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing serious food shortages as a result of years of civil war in the country. Yields of cassava, a staple food for 70% of the population, are particularly affected and its deterioration seriously affects the food security of the country. Famine has already been reported in some regions. A team from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) visited farmers fields in western Congo in December 2000 and carried out rapid assessments of pests and diseases of crops. Every known pest and disease in cassava in the region was found to be present, with cassava mosaic virus seeming to be the major constraint. Over the years, IITA, based in Nigeria, has developed many mosaic resistant varieties, but dissemination in DR Congo has been impossible due to the recent war. Supported by the FAO, IITA s Disaster Relief Unit and tissue culture laboratory will produce disease free planting material without the need for the normal quarantine procedures. In DRC itself the National Institute for Agronomic Study and Research has introduced 200 new varieties, tested by IITA. Of these varieties the most likely to adapt to local conditions will be reproduced and distributed to local farmers. Two existing nurseries near Kinshasa are being equipped to undertake this task. [caption to illustration] New strains on the way IITA PMB 5320, Ibadan, Nigeria Fax: +234 2 241 22 21 Email: IITA@cgiar.org