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CAMEROON: New cassava species could boost food security

YAOUNDE, 13 November 2012 (IRIN) - Scientists and farmers’ associations have high hopes that a variety of cassava could help build their resilience to droughts and food insecurity.

Cameroon’s National Development Programme for Roots and Tubers (PNDRT) has distributed seedlings of a new high-yield, pest-resistant variety of cassava to 1,000 smallholder farmers - most of them women - all over the country with a view to buying back cuttings from them to multiply distribution in coming years.

While regular cassava varieties produce 9-10 tons per hectare, these improved varieties can yield as much as 20-35, according to Rachid Hanna, country representative with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and PNDRT. The two institutions have been working since 2005 to develop these new species, with backing from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

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Crédits: AK-Project