Preemptive Management of Cassava Mosaic Disease Project
Nigeria grows more cassava than any other country in the world. Production is driven primarily by the demand for food for nearly 130 million people. Very little cassava is used for livestock feed and agro-industry. Nigeria’s cassava output is now threatened by a virulent form of the cassava mosaic disease advancing rapidly from East Africa. This is a new challenge, as the disease is capable of wiping out the cassava crop in Nigeria and West Africa. To counter this threat, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), initiated the Preemptive Management of Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) project. The primary focus is to use a fast track approach as a defence against the disease by introducing along the southeast flank of Nigeria resistant varieties that will give double the present yield.
More than 50% of the cassava now produced in Nigeria is wasted by postharvest inefficiencies while the population and urbanization are increasing. Rapid urban growth and development in Nigeria place a dynamic challenge to product and market development for cassava as the demand for affordable and convenient foods will continue to increase. Agroindustrial utilization of cassava in Nigeria needs to be encouraged through the promotion of improved production, postharvest, and processing technologies and the operation of an active market information system to guide private-sector investment in the cassava industry. Agroprocessing and commercialization can create employment and wealth in the cassava subsector. Cassava in various forms for food, feed, and industrial raw material, has the potential to help Nigeria improve its food security, diversify its manufacturing base, generate more income, raise employment, and achieve a favorable trade balance.
The goal of the CMD project is to contribute to a sustainable increase in food availability, reduce rural poverty and unemployment, and enhance agroindustrial and socioeconomic growth in Nigeria.
• Mitigate the impact of CMD and prevent its spread throughout Nigeria and West Africa.
• Increase cassava productivity by deploying high yielding cultivars and proven sustainable crop and soil management technologies.
• Promote the adoption of improved and profitable postharvest and processing technologies as well as new product development.
• Improve value adding to cassava through increased private-sector investment in production, processing, storage, and marketing.
• Increase incomes and livelihoods in rural areas by developing increased commercialization and effective and active market information acquisition and dissemination systems.
• Strengthen human and institutional capacity to produce, process, and market cassava efficiently.
The Coordinating Office of the CMD Project is at the IITA High Rainfall Station, Onne, near Port Harcourt. The project operates in 14 states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kwara, Ondo, Osun, and Rivers. The two zonal offices of the project are located at IITA-Onne (for the south-south and southwest States) and at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike (for the southeast). There is a project advisory committee drawn from governments of the southeast and south-south states, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, major oil-producing companies, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), USAID, IITA, NRCRI, Cassava Growers Association, and the organized private sector.
The CMD project implements its activities through partnerships with relevant public institutions, nongovernmental organizations, private-sector agribusiness firms, farmer and processor associations and groups, as well as organized communities in Nigeria.
The CMD project is funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the NDDC, USAID, NNPC, and states in southern Nigeria while IITA is the leading executing institution.