most of Sub-saharan Africa. Latest statistics show that Nigeria is the
world’s largest producer of cassava roots with an annual production of about
45million metric tonnes. Besides satisfying the dietary needs of the greater
part of the population of Nigeria, and indeed most of Sub-saharan Africa, there
is now a high demand for the roots as raw material for the manufacture of
livestock feed, biofuel pharmaceutical and textile industries. The Federal
Government effort at achieving a 10% substitution of cassava flour for wheat
flour in the bakery and allied industries is expected to further expand local
production. The focus of research activities on cassava is the development of
technologies for a sustainable cultivation of the crop through breeding, plant
health, agronomy, mechanization and trade.
The breeding objectives include:
i.High fresh root yield, dry matter and starch contents.
ii.Resistance to the major cassava pests- cassava mealybugs (CM), cassava green
mite (CGM) and diseases- cassava mosaic disease (CMD), cassava bacterial blight
(CBB) and cassava anthracnose disease (CAD).
iii.Compatibility with intercrops with legumes, cereals, vegetables and other
crops in intercropping systems.
iv.Acceptable culinary qualities.
v.Extended in-ground storage
vi.Reduced cyanogenic potential and
vii.Early maturity (8–10 months after planting)
viii. Carotene based varietiess
multi-disciplinary approach compliments the breeding process in cassava varietal
i.Agronomy with focus on production packages and systems of cassava.
ii.Plant Protection for the screening of cassava varieties for resistance to,
and cultural control measures against, pests and diseases.
iii.Biochemistry for proximate analysis of roots and product quality
Institute of tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria:
major collaborating institution in the development of improved cassava
varieties, pre-emptive management of a severe form of CMD, Cassava Enterprise
Development, Harvest plus as it relates to beta carotene in cassava roots and
Integrated Pest Management of whitefly-transmitted viruses of cassava and
Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC), St. Louis, Missouri, USA
in the area of genetic engineering to elevate resistance in farmers’ preferred
cassava varieties but which are highly susceptible to CMD, and screening of
farmers’ preferred varieties for possible bioengineering to improve the
protein content of cassava tubers, to reduce cyanogenic potential and to delay
the deterioration of cassava tubers after harvest.
Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia
with focus on the use of simple low cost marker technology to pyramid useful
for delayed post harvest physiological deterioration of cassava in addition to
maintaining resistance to the major pests and diseases.
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria
for the conduct of research on the use of radiation to produce desirable mutants
of cassava varieties.
Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
funding drought tolerant cassava improvement and availability in Nigeria.
Generation Challenge Programme(GCP)
providing funds for many projects on cassava improvement in Africa including
Material Research Development Council, Abuja, Nigeria
on research for early maturing (8–10 months after planting) cassava varieties
National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Abuja Nigeria
Combined efforts of NRCRI and IITA had led to the release of 29 improved cassava
varieties to farmers in Nigeria. Six of these improved varieties were suitable
for harvesting at 10 months of age instead of 12 months without significant loss
in dry matter, starch and gari yields. The cultivation of these improved cassava
varieties by farmers in Nigeria has enhanced the position of Nigeria as the
world-leading producer of cassava with production output of (203.7MT) and yield
of 45million mt.
Thirty-two early bulking clones have been developed as a step towards the
development of early maturing cassava varieties.
Application of agrolyzer as a supplement to fertilizer NPK fertilizer at 15kg/ha
and 10kg/ha to poultry manure to enhance root yield and sustainability of yield.
Development of appropriate agronomy practices for cassava cultivation. These
include appropriate plant spacing in sole and in intercropping, the use of
appropriate stem cuttings as planting material, appropriate fertilizer regimes,
and weed management
Integrated control of cassava mealybugs and green mites through the joint
efforts of IITA and NRCRI.
Development of cultural control measures for pests and diseases of cassava such
as termites, cassava green mites and CMD.
Identification of transgenic cassava plants with elevated resistance to CMD, Vit
A, Fe and Zn under screen house condition at DDPSC, U.S.A. The plants are
testing under field condition in Nigeria.
molecular biology laboratory established through the joint efforts of NRCRI and
CIAT is now operational. The laboratory is to provide assistance in cassava
breeding through marker-aided selection.
Exotic germplasm with desirable traits such as PPD, protein, beta-carotene etc,
has been introduced from the center of primary diversity to NRCRI for
introgression and evaluation.
In assisting farmers to meet the challenges of the Presidential Initiative on
Cassava, NRCRI through the Cassava programme provided 4,481 bundles of cassava
stem cuttings to farmers free of charge. In collaboration with NRCRI, IITA
through the Integrated Cassava Project also made available 2,273 bundles of stem
cuttings to farmers free of charge. The 6,754 bundles of the stem cuttings were
sufficient to plant 112 hectares.
Research findings in Cassava Programme have confirmed that for now, standard
neem plant extract is the best local substitute for chemical fungicides in the
rapid multiplication of cassava in Nigeria.
Present Research Interest
Increasing the protein content of cassava tubers
Selection for high beta carotene content in cassava tubers
Delay in post-harvest deterioration of cassava tubers
Development of early maturing varieties
Screening for CMD, CBB, CMB etc
Selection for drought tolerant varieties
Field screening of transgenic cassava for Fe, Vit A and Zn.
Development of appropriate soil fertility amendments for root and stem
Encouragement of cassava-based industries for starch, flour, ethanol etc.
List of Scientists
Eke-Okoro (Agronomist)- firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. CN. Egesi (Breeder/Geneticist)-email@example.com;
Dr. EO. Okogbenin, (Breeder/Geneticist)-firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Joe Onyeka, (Pathologist)-email@example.com
Mr. D.N. Njoku, (Breeder/Geneticist)-firstname.lastname@example.org;
Mrs.NJ. Amanze, (Breeder/Geneticist) Ngoziamanze@yahoo.com
Mrs. SC.Njoku, (Agronomist) Sallynjoku@yahoo.com
Mr. CO. Nwadili, (Pathologist) Christiannwadili@gmail.com,email@example.com
Mr. LI. Chukwu, (Soil Scientist) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr.IN.Onyekwere, (Soil pedologist) Onyeinnoma@yahoo.com
Mrs.MC. Ikejiofor, (Agric. Engineer) email@example.com
F. Ewa. (Breeding/Genetist) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. C. Ohuopia (Admin. Sec). Ohuopia@gmail.com
Collaborators- 7 officers.
For further enquiries, contact: