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Crop Biotech Update

Vitamin A Cassava Launched in Nigeria

August 7, 2013

Vitamin A cassava was formally launched in Nigeria on July 31 under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. Agriculture Minister Dr. Akin Adesina and representatives from the Ministry of Health led the event in Akwa-Ibom state which was attended by more than 2,000 farmers and other agriculture, nutrition and development stakeholders. The three cassava varieties launched were the product of collaborative work by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the National Root Crop Research Institute of Nigeria (NRCRI), under the HarvestPlus program.

Paul Ilona, HarvestPlus Nigeria Country Manager was at the launch, and he said, "The national launch is a recognition that biofortified staple food crops such as vitamin A cassava can constitute an important component in the strategy to improve nutritional and public health outcomes in Nigeria."

For the next five years, HarvestPlus will continue to work with the Government, farmers and the private sector to significantly scale up vitamin A cassava dissemination in Nigeria. The target is 10 million Nigerians growing and consuming vitamin A cassava by 2018.

For more details, read the HarvestPlus news release available at: http://www.harvestplus.org/content/vitamin-cassava-dissemination-officially-launched-nigeria.