Healthier cassava: wealthier farmers?
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CTA. 1999. Healthier cassava: wealthier farmers?. Spore 81. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48436
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore81.pdf
The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) of Uganda has developed a cassava variety that is resistant to the Ugandan variant of cassava mosaic disease. The disease broke out in 1988 in the Luwero district in northern Uganda and rapidly...
The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) of Uganda has developed a cassava variety that is resistant to the Ugandan variant of cassava mosaic disease. The disease broke out in 1988 in the Luwero district in northern Uganda and rapidly spread across the whole country. By 1994, cassava production had fallen from 1,230,000 t to 970,000 t. Farmers abandoned cassava cultivation on a massive scale and started to grow alternative crops such as sweet potato and maize. Initially the real cause of the epidemic remained unknown. The virus was found to be different from both the African and the East African variants of the cassava mosaic virus. Sources of resistance were sought from the Tropical Manihot Series of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the small quantities of germplasm retrieved from the Serere Research Station in Uganda. Finally, a clone resistant to the Ugandan variant was developed from a local female parent and an improved male parent. The new cassava variety yields up to 24 t/ha; it is sweet, has a low cyanogenic potential, and exhibits good resistance to bacterial blight and the cassava green mite. It has shown no symptoms of any mosaic disease. Since then, several new mosaic-resistant varieties with even higher yields have been developed and released to farmers. By 1998, the new cassava varieties were being grown in the districts most affected by the disease. Yields were between 100% and 300% higher compared with local varieties: sufficient to cause a glut in cassava markets and push down prices. Only a few years earlier, the disease had led to famine in parts of the country. For further information Professor J K Mukiibi NARO PO Box 295, Entebbe Uganda Fax: +256 41 321 070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org For further reading Controlling African cassava mosaic disease J Guthrie, 1990, 20 pp., CTA No 266, ISBN 92 9081 073 4 5 credit points