Navigation Links
Danforth Center scientist recruited to spearhead cassava green revolution for Nigeria
Date:9/19/2011

ST. LOUIS, MO, September 19, 2011 Dr. Martin Fregene, Director of BioCassava (BC) Plus at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has been tasked with leading the implementation of the Cassava Green Revolution for Nigeria by Akin Adesina, the Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Fregene will begin these duties September 15 and will remain a co-Principal Investigator of BC Plus sharing that role with Dr. Paul Anderson, Executive Director of International Programs at the Danforth Center.

Fregene will serve as a special advisor to the Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources and will be part of a world class team responsible for the design and implementation of Nigeria's agricultural transformation agenda. The root cause of the food problem in Africa is deeply structural: low agricultural productivity. Total productivity of agriculture has been low in Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1992 and 2003, total factor productivity in East Africa was a mere 0.4%, while West and Southern Africa averaged 0.6% and 1.3%, respectively. These rates do not keep up with the rate of population growth, and they call for greater investments to raise agricultural productivity. Nigeria's agricultural transformation agenda will tackle the root cause of low productivity by getting six things right: improved technologies, policies, markets, political will, financing and infrastructure

"It is a privilege and honor for me to be invited by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture to contribute to the long awaited effort to rebuild Nigeria's agricultural sector. I intend to apply experiences gained during my 20 years of working in South and North America, Asia and Africa to increase cassava productivity which will improve food security and create employment and income opportunities for cassava producers in Nigeria" said Fregene.

Fregene has been recognized for his extensive research focused on cassava improvement to fight ravages of viral diseases, micronutrient deficiency and increase productivity, via molecular breeding and biotechnology, and for his efforts to develop the biotechnology capacity of the National Root Research Institute (NCRCRI) in Nigeria.

"We see this as a wonderful opportunity for Dr. Fregene to employ his experience and capabilities to assist the Honourable Minister of Agriculture in his aggressive effort to revitalize the agricultural sector in Nigeria. The Danforth Center is proud to contribute this effort through Dr. Fregene's participation", said Paul Anderson.

More than 250 million sub-Saharan Africans rely on cassava as their major source of calories. Although it has many properties that make it an important food across much of Africa and Asia, it also has many limitations. A cassava-based diet does not provide complete nutrition and those who depend on cassava for food often suffer from chronic malnutrition, or insufficient intake of essential nutrients and vitamins including pro-vitamin A, iron and protein. In addition, Cassava is susceptible to many pathogens. Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) represent the most serious threats to cassava production in sub-Saharan Africa. Each year, CMD is responsible for a minimum of 30% losses of the harvest and CBSD has become an increasing threat in recent years. Farmers are desperate.

The Danforth Plant Science Center has been the lead on two major projects to address these challenges. BioCassava Plus is aimed at helping Africans avoid the devastating health consequences caused by micro nutrient malnutrition by delivering more nutritious, higher yielding, and more marketable cultivars of cassava. The cassava being developed will contain beneficial amounts of beta-carotene, which the human body uses to make Vitamin A, iron and protein. Beta-carotene is contained in various foods today, but those foods are often not readily available to many people in the developing world.

The Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA) project represents a collaboration between the Danforth Plant Science Center, the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in Uganda and the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute in Kenya to develop farmer-preferred cassava cultivars that are resistant to cassava virus diseases for delivery to African smallholder farmers thereby increasing root yields and food and economic security.


'/>"/>

Contact: Melanie Bernds
mbernds@danforthcenter.org
314-587-1647
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Danforth Center Collaborative Research Program receives funding to improve crop yield in Africa
2. DOE makes largest Danforth Campus research award in history
3. NSF establishes Triangle (NC) Center for Soft Matter Research
4. TGens Center for Proteomics selected as Waters Center of Innovation
5. MegaMatcher and VeriFinger SDK Fingerprint Compression Algorithms Receive WSQ Certification from FBI Biometric Center of Excellence
6. National Center for Systems Biology to be established at Medical College
7. University of Colorado Cancer Center genetically sequences most common bladder cancer
8. La Jolla Institute opens major RNAi center for identifying genetic triggers of disease
9. NTU unveils new center to develop solar cells and clean energy systems of tomorrow
10. MegaMatcher and VeriFinger SDK Fingerprint Compression Algorithms Receive WSQ Certification from FBI Biometric Center of Excellence
11. John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shared 14 leading edge studies at recent ASCO meeting
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Danforth Center scientist recruited to spearhead cassava green revolution for Nigeria
(Date:2/1/2016)... Feb. 1, 2016  Today, the first day of ... plans to develop a first of its kind workplace ... IBM Watson. In the first application of ... IBM ), and Welltok will create a new ... with cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a leading semiconductor equipment ... Chester, Ohio announced today the acquisition of PLUS ... in Austin, Texas , will significantly ... modifications, installations and technical support offerings for TEL Track ... commented, "PLUS has provided world class service including refurbishment, ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... 22, 2016 ... of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric Market ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced ... Biometric Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing ... biotech companies, announced today the appointment of ... Jim brings nearly 25 years of experience in ... spent nearly two decades in executive level roles ... at Genzyme and, most recently headed global logistics ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... ... SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, ... same venue. , These latest InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... now available on Microsoft Azure. On Azure, Arvados provides capabilities for managing and ... clear demand for Microsoft Azure from major institutions collecting and analyzing genomic data,” ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... BC (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... design services and current winner of the Highest Overall Customer Rating Award ... in all of its business units across the USA, Canada, Mexico and China. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: