IITA News

State Minister of Agriculture, Honorable Jean Chrisostome Ngabitsinze, giving a speech.

Rwandan farmers name new cassava varieties during the Cassava Week

An association of farmers in Rwanda, the Ingabo Syndicate, in collaboration with the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and their partners, held Cassava Week 2020 from 17 to 19 November. The State Minister of Agriculture, Honorable Jean Chrisostome Ngabitsinze, officially kicked off the event at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources….

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Project’s screen house at Rubona station

New disease-resistant cassava varieties introduced in Rwanda

Rwandan farmers have lacked improved cassava varieties resistant to the main cassava diseases, namely Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) and Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD). The diseases have since 2014/15 affected cassava productivity, hence threatening the incomes and food security of many people in the country. “There are two main diseases that attack cassava in Rwanda…

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IITA scientist develops a cheaper and faster tool for identifying whiteflies

IITA scientist develops a cheaper and faster tool for identifying whiteflies

A CGIAR-IITA scientist has developed a more cost and time effective molecular diagnostic tool that can accurately identify different subgroups of cassava whiteflies, Bemisia tabaci. The tool can be used in local laboratories in Africa that often lack expensive sequencing technologies. This innovation marks a major milestone in efforts to accurately characterize whiteflies, which transmit viruses that…

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IITA joins call for a global surveillance system to detect and halt the spread of crop disease

A team of researchers has argued in Science that as nations collaborate to detect and stop human pandemics, a global surveillance system for crop diseases is needed to safeguard agricultural trade and food security. How crop diseases affect people Since 2004, millions of farmers growing cassava in the Great Lakes region of East and Central Africa have…

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Dr Saethre interacting with scientists at one of the soybean fields in Malawi, Chitedze Research Station.

DDG-R4D visits IITA’s field research activities in Southern Africa Hub locations

From 23 to 31 March, IITA Deputy Director General-Research for Development (DDG-R4D), May-Guri Saethre, had a successful field visit to Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia in the Southern Africa Hub to appreciate the advancement of new research and technologies. She appealed to scientists to take a more vigorous approach to deal with pests and diseases particularly…

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IITA partners with Rwanda to develop cassava clean seed standards

The Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) has launched the cassava clean seed standards along with 292 other standards in different sectors at a colorful event held in Kigali on 7 February. The cassava seed standards was one of the three standards showcased during the launch. The other two were on mosquito repellants and good financial grant…

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Agriculture extension officers learning how to inspect cassava seeds in the field.
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MEDA, IITA, and Tanzania’s seed certification agency train extension workers on cassava seed inspection

The Building an Economically-Sustainable Seed System in Tanzania for Cassava (BEST Cassava) project has trained over 70 Agricultural extension officers on cassava seed inspection and certification to become certified cassava seed inspectors. This is part of the project’s efforts to ensure farmers in Tanzania have access to high quality planting materials of high-yielding, disease-resistant, improved…

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Picture of workshop participants.

CBSD control project for Rwanda and Burundi launched

IITA in partnership with the Institute of Agricultural Science of Burundi (ISABU) and Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) have launched a new project titled “Fighting Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) and Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) through the deployment of new resistant germplasm and clean seed in Rwanda and Burundi”.

Picture of Clean Seed to Combat CBSD and CMD Project (5CP) team visiting the trials in Tanzania.

Landmark regional crop breeding trials show promise against deadly cassava viral diseases

Disease resistance trials being conducted simultaneously in 33 different locations across 5 African countries and involving 25 shared varieties – a first-of-its-kind multi-country collaborative cassava breeding initiative in East and Southern Africa – are showing promise against the deadly Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) and Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD). This was highlighted during a stakeholders’…

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Picture of large population of B. tabaci adults feeding on the underside of a young cassava leaf

Researchers on one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests, whitefly, converge in Arusha, Tanzania

The 2nd International Whitefly Symposium (IWS2) is taking place in Arusha, Tanzania, this week, 14-19 February. It has brought together more than a hundred scientists from all over the world to discuss one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests, the whitefly. In sub-Saharan Africa, whiteflies are a key threat to food security and efforts…

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