Two new hybrid cassava varieties to boost Nigeria’s productivity

Nigeria has released two improved cassava varieties in an effort to maintain its lead as the world’s largest producer of the root crop – which is being processed into products such as starch, flour, glucose and ethanol – and to improve the incomes of farmers.

Potential maximum yield of the two varieties is between 49 and 53 tons per hectare (according to pre-varietal release trials) versus local varieties, which produce less than 10 tons per hectare.
The new varieties are resistant to major pests and diseases that affect cassava in the country including cassava mosaic disease, cassava bacterial blight, cassava anthracnose, cassava mealy-bug and cassava green mite.
They also have high dry matter which is positively related to starch and crucial for cassava value chain development; high leaf retention which is positively related to drought tolerance and is crucial for cassava production in the drier regions and in mitigating the impact of climate change; and moderate levels of betacarotene for enhancing nutrition. – This Day