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Researchers demonstrate control of devastating cassava virus in Africa
Date:8/7/2012

partner institutions in Africa, the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Uganda (NaCRRI) and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), are working to solve the problem for African farmers through a collaborative project called Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA). The VIRCA project has been developing cassava with enhanced resistance to cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) and cassava mosaic disease (CMD).

"The collaboration is showing progress toward helping smallholder farmers combat these devastating diseases," said Dr. Anton Bua, the Ugandan Cassava Research Team Leader in charge of field trials and communication for the project in East Africa.

"In Uganda, we eat cassava two or three times per day. Restoring and improving cassava productivity will be critical to the continued economic progress of the country and the region," said Dr. Titus Alicai, project lead, National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI).

Experts with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have expressed concern that CBSD is on the verge of becoming an epidemic in parts of Africa. A press release issued by the FAO last November called for an urgent increase in funding, research, training, surveillance and other measures to help African farmers and breeders. The concern is strong because cassava contributes to household incomes and food security more than any other single crop in some countries.


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

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