Stakeholders in the Cassava Value chain have met at KEPHIS Headquarters in Nairobi to come up with a road map for the Cassava seed system.
Through the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus [VIRCA], a collaborative project between the Donald Danforth Plant Science Centre[DDPSC] USA, MEDA, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization[KALRO], the National Agricultural Research Organization[NARO] Uganda, the Rwandan Agricultural Board[RAB] and the National Root Crops Research Institute[NRCRI] in Nigeria, the project has developed pathogen-derived RNAI technology to produce genetically modified cassava displaying high-level resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease [CBSD]. The project is for five years.
The main objective of the project is to improve food security and incomes for farmers to access cassava varieties thus increasing food security and improving livelihoods.
Stakeholder meetings aim to build an economically sustainable seed system, establish quality standards, procedures, and protocols for reference and plan how to establish a clear market system
A key deliverable is that three varieties should be released (made available for multiplication) by December 2022.