Biotech Updates

Nigeria Gets Improved Cassava Varieties

January 14, 2011

Four improved cassava varieties (NR 01/0004, CR 41-10, TMS 00/0203, and TMS 01/0040) were released recently by the Nigerian government. TMS 00/0203 and TMS 01/0040 were bred by scientists from Ibadan-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA); while NR 01/0004 and CR 41-10 were bred by Umudike-based National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and the Colombian-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), respectively.

These varieties performed well in terms of yield and pest resistance in on-farm prerelease trials in eight states in the country. The average yield observed was 31 tons per hectare, compared to the 26 t/ha yield of the local varieties. "The release of the varieties is good news for Nigerian farmers in particular and African farmers in general," says Dr. Peter Kulakow, IITA Cassava Breeder.

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