Researchers Collaborate to Make Cassava Work for the Poor

Researchers and their partners from the Support for Agricultural Research and Development for Strategic Crops (SARD-SC) have started work to improve the productivity of cassava by 20 percent. The main beneficiaries of the project are about half a million farmers with more than 2 million indirect beneficiaries in DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia

Dr. Chrys Akem, SARD-SC Project Coordinator, said that "SARD-SC intends to tackle most of the bottlenecks confronting cassava by disseminating improved varieties and unlocking the power of the crop along the value chain." DR Congo's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Jean-Chrysostome Vahanwiti said cassava is a food security crop and that research to improve cassava was a welcome development for the country and the region.

Launched last year, the SARD-SC is a 5-year, multi-CGIAR center initiative co-implemented by IITA (executing agency), Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), supported by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). IITA is also the Executing Agency of the project.

More information is available at


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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