IITA researcher declared best oral presenter at the ISTRC-AB
IITA Research Associate, Rudolph Shirima, gave the best oral presentation at the recently concluded ISTRC-AB symposium.
His presentation “Assessment of the degeneration rates of selected cassava varieties under high cassava virus pressure in Coastal Tanzania” was declared the best presentation out of the over 50 oral presentations made.
Shirima’s study seeks to establish the number of times that farmers can recycle their cassava materials and still have a good yield before they succumb to Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) and have to purchase new, clean planting material. CBSD is a major threat to cassava production in parts of Africa.
According to Rudolph, he is studying the degeneration of seven varieties: one clone (KBH2002_135) and six cassava varieties (Chereko, Kikombe, Kipusa, Kiroba, Kizimbani, Mkuranga-1). From these, five are elite varieties with good resistance to CBSD.
“The award was very inspiring. It was a shocking and at the same time exciting moment. This is my first time of being honored with this award,” Shirima said.
He said the award was not only due to his efforts but also from the teamwork which had played a huge part in the implementation and achievements of the study.
He further applauded the approach used by ISTRC-AB to support young scientists to participate fully in the event, which he said was good preparation for them to become competent young scientists in Africa.
“It is my second time of participating in an ISTRC-AB conference. The conferences provide opportunities for young researchers to grow,” he said.
Shirima is currently studying for his PhD at the University of Dar es Salaam Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBB) with support from the IITA-led New Cassava varieties and Clean Seed to Combat CBSD and CMD Project (5CP).
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