Global cassava coalition calls for support for cassava transformation in Africa
Ahead of the international conference on cassava, the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) has called on policy makers, donors and the international community to support all efforts that will bring about cassava transformation in Africa.
The call stresses the importance of cassava which has become central to the food security of over 600 million people in the developing world, and the fourth most important crop after maize, wheat, and rice.
Dr Claude Fauquet, Director of GCP21, said “despite the key role cassava is playing in Africa’s food security, its productivity had remained low (about 9 t/ha), keeping the growers in the trap of poverty. In Asia, cassava productivity is more than 21 t/ ha—a situation that gives Asia competitive advantage in global cassava trade. Addressing the yield gap demands more funding for cassava research and development (R&D) from all stakeholders, if truly the world wants to help farmers towards ending hunger and poverty in Africa.”
Dr Fauquet said that the 11-15 June conference to be held in Cotonou with the theme: Cassava Transformation in Africa, is one of the ways GCP21 is contributing towards the transformation of the root crop.
He called for participation of all stakeholders, emphasizing that the conference would provide a unique opportunity for donors, investors, and policy makers to see and access the latest innovations and discoveries in the cassava sector.
This year’s conference is being organized by GCP21, in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), IITA, National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB), and Faculte des Sciences Agronomique – Universite Abomey-Calavi (FAS-AUC). Other supporting institutions include The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Development Bank (AfDB); Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research (WECARD), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), International Center for Agricultural Development (CIRAD), and the Institute for Research & Development (IRD).