Nigeria gets improved cassava

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 Nigeria’s lead in cassava production, increase farmers’ incomes, and guarantee food security.