The Nigerian government has released four improved cassava varieties that are a product of about a decade-old conventional breeding research. These include NR 01/0004, CR 41-10, TMS 00/0203, and TMS 01/0040.
TMS 00/0203 and TMS 01/0040 were bred by IITA scientists, while NR 01/0004 was bred by the Umudike, Nigeria-based National Root Crops Research Institute, and CR 41-10 by the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
On-farm prerelease trials involving local farmers in eight states of the country show that the improved varieties outperformed local checks with an average yield of about 31 t/ha compared with 26 t/ha recorded by the local varieties.
Farmers love the varieties for their excellent culinary qualities, high yield, and resistance to pests and diseases.
The new varieties seek to strengthen Nigeriaâ€™s lead in cassava production, increase farmersâ€™ incomes, and guarantee food security.