Integrated Cassava Project
The Preemptive Management of Cassava Mosaic Disease Project popularly referred to as the CMD project was formally initiated in July 2003.

Prior to the development and initiation of the CMD project, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded a nation-wide diagnostic survey of the presence of the virulent Ugandan strain of East African cassava mosaic virus (EACMV-Ug2) because the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and its collaborating research partners reported the emergence of a new virus challenge to cassava.

EACMV-Ug2 had caused a devastating cassava mosaic epidemic in Uganda, characterized by zero yields and total crop failure leading to the loss of 60 billion Ugandan shillings (US$60 million dollars) every year, as well as several thousands of famine-related deaths. It was reported to be spreading from Uganda, through East Africa and westwards into Central Africa.

The results from this survey implemented by the IITA showed that strains of African mosaic virus (ACMV) and East African mosaic virus (EACMV) which could recombine to form the EACMV-Ug2 were present both as single infections and as multiple infections in most farms visited in Nigeria. Of the 1397 cassava leaf samples tested, 74.1% tested positive for ACMV alone, 0.3% for EACMV alone, 24.4% for mixed infections by the two viruses, and 1.2% of the symptom bearing plants could not be identified. The two viruses were also detected in 32% of 291 symptomless plants.

The results further showed that the mixed infections of the two viruses are now widespread in the south-south and south-east zones of Nigeria and have increased in incidence from 18% in 1998 to 48% in 2003, implying that there is an increase in the chances of getting a recombinant hybrid strain that may be as virulent as the Ugandan strain.

The occurrence of ACMV, EACMV and their variants in mixed infections in Nigeria, the severe symptoms that characterize such mixed infections, and the possible spread of the virulent Ugandan variant (EACMV-Ug) to Nigeria, threaten to devastate Nigeria’s cassava production and create in its wake, a food crisis of monumental proportions in the world’s largest cassava producing nation if immediate preventive measures are not taken. Any reduction in cassava production could have incalculable effects on the Nigerian economy and on the lives of the millions of Nigerians for whom cassava is the major starchy staple food. Such an outbreak could also lead to food shortages in the cassava belt of West Africa.

Fortunately, scientists at IITA had already successfully bred cassava cultivars with durable resistance to the new form of the disease and their deployment in Uganda was a huge success.

The most vulnerable areas are the south-south and south-east states of Nigeria, including the Niger Delta region where the population of more than 29 million people depends predominantly on cassava for subsistence, and where chronic food shortages and widespread poverty and unemployment are recurrent causes of social disturbances. Cassava mosaic disease, if unchecked, could result in a potential food security crisis with major social impacts throughout the region. It will also undermine the potential to develop markets for cassava in livestock feed, ethanol, starch, and other industries. It is therefore imperative that the disease threat be contained in Nigeria and does not spread throughout West Africa.

As a result of these findings, IITA organized an international workshop on cassava competitiveness in Nigeria. The stakeholders at this workshop included the government, national research institutes, the private sector, financial institutions, universities, farmers, and international institutions. This workshop was held at the IITA headquarters at Ibadan 18-22 November 2002. The workshop which was opened by Chief Audu Ogbeh, representing the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo identified the constraints to competitive production, processing, and marketing. It also proffered solutions to identified constraints, and articulated action plans towards solving the problems. More than 200 participants from Colombia, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, USA, India, Denmark, Italy, and Nigeria attended.

To address the critical threat of an outbreak of this disease in Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria, 12 state governments of the south-east and south-south zones including Ondo State, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and its joint venture partners endorsed an action plan of US$17.1 million in a four-year project proposal and committed funding for the preemptive management of the virulent cassava mosaic disease through an integrated cassava development approach in the south-south and south-east zones of Nigeria. The 12 states originally earmarked to benefit from this project are to collectively pay the counterpart funding of 40% (US$6.6 million at US$600,000 per state), while the Federal Government would provide 15% (US$2.475 million), NDDC 20% (US$3.3 million), NNPC and its joint venture partners, 20% (US$3.3 million). The shortfall 5% (US$830 000) was to be sourced from other development investors by IITA. The Federal Government, NDDC, and Akwa Ibom State have paid in full their share, while Ondo and Anambra States have paid 12.5% of their commitment. The commitments of the other state governments and oil companies are at various stages of approval.

To formally begin the project, another stakeholders’ forum of over 200 participants was held at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, between 23 and 25 June 2003 to work out modalities for effective implementation of the project.

The primary focus of the project then became to use a fast track approach as a defence against the cassava mosaic disease by introducing along the southeast flank of Nigeria resistant varieties that will give double the present yield. Since merely doubling yield will lead to a cassava glut, the objectives of the project were developed to address all constraints from production to consumption, using the commodity chain approach.

USAID in collaboration with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 2004 funded the complementary project, Cassava Enterprise Development Project (CEDP) to focus more on the expansion of postharvest processing and marketing outlets.

Together CMD and CEDP make up the Integrated Cassava Project (ICP).

The Approach

1. Agronomy

The approach under the agronomy component has been to deploy resistant varieties quickly and aggressively to replace susceptible ones through planned demonstrations, on-farm multiplication, and multilocational trials.

Forty newly selected cassava mosaic-resistant genotypes and three other improved checks commonly grown by farmers in Nigeria have been planted at each of 19 locations in 18 states in the 2003/04 planting season to identify specific and broadly adapted CMD resistant genotypes with desired end-user characteristics.

The new varieties are as follows: 98/2226, 98/0002, 97/4779, 98/2101, 99/2123, 98/0581, M98/0068, 96/1569, 97/4763, 96/0523, 99/3073, 97/0211, 96/1632, 92/0067, 92B/00061, 95/0289, 96/1642, 91/02324, 96/0603, 97/3200, 94/0561, 97/2205, 94/0026, 95/0166, 94/0039, 96/1565, 96/1089A, 95/0379, 98/0505, 92/0057, 99/6012, 92/0325, TME419, 92/0326, 98/0510, M98/0040, 92B/00068, 97/0162, M98/0028, and 97/4769.

The 19 locations across agroecologies where these varieties are planted are as follows:
Calabar, Obrikom, Onne, Uyo, and Warri in the humid forest agroecology;
Awka, Egbema, Ibadan, Ikenne, Ishiagu, Nsukka, Oshogbo/Ife, Ubiaja, Umudike in the forest-savanna transition agroecology;
Ilorin, Kubwa, Mokwa, Otobi in the southern Guinea savanna; and
Sabo-Ngida in the northern Guinea savanna agroecology

CMD, in close partnership with a wide range of stakeholders from both the public and private sector institutions—relevant government institutions such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development-Root and Tuber Expansion Project (RTEP), National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs), strategic private industries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals, have established 1320 on-farm trials in 110 communities, and 100 community-based demonstration trials in the 12 project states. The aim is to identify cassava mosaic-resistant genotypes that are adapted to farmers' agronomic and cultural practices and have high economic returns in terms of root yields and root quality characteristics. Out of the 1210 farmers directly involved in on-farm trials, 26.5% are women.

Results from these trials will enable the CMD project to select the five best bet varieties for desired end-user characteristics per state and have sufficient data to request for the release of these varieties.

To ensure a continuous flow of the new CMD resistant genotypes into farmers’ fields, IITA breeders continue to work on variety development at Ibadan, Ubiaja, and Mokwa. IITA estimated operational costs over the years (excluding infrastructure) of developing these improved and diverse CMD-resistant varieties currently being multiplied in the CMD project in Nigeria is US$3.4 million. This includes personnel costs and operational costs. This is considered as part of IITA’s contribution to the CMD management program in addition to other in-kind contributions.

All CMD trials are periodically monitored by a team of experts and feedback given to respective managers. In February 2003 one of such monitoring trips was organized and the report assisted in planning the 2004 trials.

Primary multiplication centers with a total of 46 new and diverse CMD-resistant varieties and three improved cassava varieties popularly grown by farmers were established have been established in five agroecologies (Onne, Ubiaja, Umudike in the humid forest, Ibadan, Mokwa, and Zaria in the moist savanna, and Kano and Mallam Madori in the Sudan savanna zones). A total of 251 486 plants were established in 17 ha of land and provided planting materials for all the trials (multilocational and on-farm trials and demonstrations) and establishment of new multiplication plots in 2004.

2. Postharvest

The approach for postharvest is to aggressively inform the public about the various uses to which cassava can be put. It is believed that by introducing diversification into cassava utilization, excess production would be mooped up and industries sustained. To do this, a lot of cassava utilization training is taking place. The postharvest component also recognises the need for mechanization and development of indigenous engineers. The project took an inventory of all available cassava processing equipment and encouraged the formation of a national equipment fabrication association. Members of this group are currently producing equipment being deployed to cottage industries in target states. The project encourages small and medium-scale enterprises in rural communities either in the form of a full factory or as part of a supply chain. Facilitation and building of synergy between different government agencies, and the private sector are pursued vigorously by the project. To date, strong cooperation has been received from the following bodies:
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMA&RD)
Federal Ministry of Industry
Federal Ministry of Commerce
National Special Programme for Food Security (NSPFS)
Postharvest Unit, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Raw Materials Research and Development Council
Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO)
National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike (NRCRI)
Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute, Ilorin (NSPRI)
Root and Tuber Expansion Program (RTEP)
Flour Milling Association (FMA)
Master Bakers of Association (MBA)
Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON)
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria (CGAN)
Cassava Processors Association of Nigeria (CAPAN)
Cassava Equipment Fabricators Association of Nigeria (CEFAN)
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency
Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI)
Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME)
State Ministries of Agriculture
State Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs).

The Federal Government policy on the inclusion of 10% cassava flour in bread and a ban on the importation of cassava products are some of the successes of this union.

3. Agroenterprise

Under this component, the approach has been to teach farmers, processors, and small and medium-scale investors how to run cassava businesses. They also learn about group formation and group management so as to enjoy the benefits of economies of scale. Business plans are provided for different scales of investors, and entrepreneurs are linked to different sources of credit. The project also conducts community analysis at all factories established under the postharvest components and works out ownership modules for publicly financed enterprises.

4. Marketing and socioeconomics

The strategy here is to identify markets where cassava products can be channelled. The project encourages transparency in pricing and hence collects commodity prices nationwide. These prices are dispersed weekly via the print and electronic media. The project encourages price negotiations between trade groups. The project will also under this component be providing market analyses for different products. For all technologies introduced along the commodity chain, cost-benefit analysis will be performed and investors adequately advised. Impacts of all interventions will also be assessed under this component.

New members
More states have written to IITA asking to join the CMD project and are making efforts to pay their counterpart fund. Those that have made financial commitment to IITA are:
Kwara State
Osun State


The Federal Republic of Nigeria

United States Agency for International Development, Nigeria

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Nigeria

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)

Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Fair use of the material on this website is encouraged. Short excerpts of text may be quoted provided that the source is acknowledged; however, for permission to use substantial quantities of text, or images, please contact ICP is implemented by IITA in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMA&RD), and the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and States in southern Nigeria. © 2005 IITA.