Minister of Agriculture Launches Vitamin A Cassava in Nigeria

Cassava has been known for its ability to withstand various stresses brought about by climate change. Aside from being a "tough" crop, it also has high nutritive value. HarvestPlus and its partners have developed vitamin-A rich cassava which was formally launched in Nigeria on March 16, 2012. HarvestPlus, together with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and National Root Crop Research Institute of Nigeria (NRCRI), will distribute the biofortified cassava to 50,000 Nigerian households.

During the launch, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, commended the efforts of the research institutions and the federal government in addressing the vitamin A deficiency in the country.

"Cassava used to be a subsistence crop. It is highly adaptable and well-suited for addressing the challenge of climate change, due to its high tolerance to drought. A crop that allows you to make starch, high quality cassava flour, dried chips for export and livestock feed, and ethanol, is not a poor man's crop, but a rich man's crop," the minister said.

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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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