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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

IITA boosts food security in Cameroon with cassava varieties

At the presentation of the cassava varieties
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in a bid to boost the agricultural sector in Cameroon on food security has unveiled improved cassava varieties.
IITA revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that five new improved cassava varieties were released to safeguard the lives of millions of Cameroonians.
These varieties namely with genotypes TMS 92/0326, TMS 96/1414, TMS 96/0023, TMS 92/0057, and TMS 92/0067, according to IITA were developed through conventional breeding by the institute and some other partners.
The improved varieties would improve nutritional values through the provision of caratenoids, iron and zinc as they have an estimated 20 tonnes to 35 tonnes per hectare.
Programme National de Development des Racines et Tubercules (PNDRT), the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), non-governmental organizations as well as local farmers partnered IITA on this project.
According to the IITA Director General, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, who was quoted as saying that the varieties would help close the yield gaps while improving yield and increasing farmers' revenue especially those that rely on cassava for livelihood.
"IITA will continue to support farmers in Cameroon by offering improved varieties and technologies that address the constraints to development in tropical nations," the IITA boss said.
Cameroonian Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Essimi Menye commended the efforts of IITA in developing these varieties, adding that the new they would assist the nation to take advantage of the opportunities of the crop which is one of the major staples in Cameroon.
As said by IITA, Cassava in Cameroon is either boiled and eaten, or processed into local delicacies such as Mitumba, Baton de manioc, Beignets de manioc, gari, and Ndas among others. Other use includes ethanol production, inclusion in bread production ad glucose syrup production.

 Yinka Awosanya/LS
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