Roots, Tubers, and Bananas
First Session: 12 September - 21 September 2016
Second Session: 13 February - 17 February 2017
Improvement of banana for smallholder farmers in the Great Lakes region of AfricaDonor Agency: International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
This project aims to improve banana production through: enhancing the performance of banana breeding systems in East and Central Africa; using pathogen identification and accelerated early stage resistance screening to enhance resistance to pests and diseases; improving breeding efficiency through molecular-based genetic studies and development of DNA marker-based early selection; enhancing breeding and adoption through end-user feedback systems and participatory evaluation; and developing an open-source database and tool box for breeders and researchers to improve efficiency and synergy.
Next Generation Cassava Breeding Project / NigeriaDonor Agency: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Next Generation Cassava Breeding (NEXTGEN Cassava) project aims to significantly increase the rate of genetic improvement in cassava breeding and unlock the full potential of cassava through: development of methods to increase flowering and seed set in cassava; increasing the rate of genetic gain through use of genomic selection; development of a database for information storage and tracking; enhancement of cassava germplasm exchange between Latin American and Africa; support towards establishment of a biotechnology/biosafety outreach and training in Nigeria; development of infrastructure and training of plant breeders in Africa.
Development Food Assistance Program for Burundi (DFAP), entitled “Amashiga”Donor Agency: USAID/Food for Peace (FFP)
Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) is a serious problem of banana production in Burundi, and while conventional control can be effective, it is extremely labor intensive, results in the certain loss of all or part of the banana harvest, and farmers have demonstrated significant resistance to adoption. After showing potential in field trials using a new approach called Single Diseased Stem Removal (SDSR), Bioversity scientists established self-help groups in DRC aimed at understanding social dynamics around adopting the technology and participatory learning for fine tuning the control strategy. Preliminary results show that SDSR can rapidly reduce the number of infected plants with little effort, however, the pilot revealed potential gender challenges. Building on this work, gendered and socially differentiated research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of SDSR, and to assess how gender dynamics around decision-making, resource allocation and gendered cropping practices could impact the successful scaling of SDSR.
Increasing the quality and quantity of potato production in south western agro ecological zoneDonor Agency: Government of Uganda
Women contribute about 90 percent of labor activities involved in potato production in Uganda, yet they benefit less from their efforts than their male counterparts. This project, funded by the Government of Uganda and implemented by KaZARDI, uses pathology, soil fertility and entomology research, staff capacity building, and agronomic value chain development to boost potato yields, but gender sensitivity and equality is needed such that everyone involved in potato production shares in the benefits. Therefore generating technologies that are gender responsive are paramount for the success of this project.
BBTD containment and recovery; building capcity and piloting field recovery approaches through a learning allianceDonor Agency: CGIAR-RTB
This project focuses on containing Banana Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) through: piloting community and farm household recovery strategies, informed by gender role and household typology understanding, in BBTD affected areas; testing alternative approaches to develop supply chains for virus-free planting material; and building knowledge and predictive tools of virus-vector-host interactions, cropping system and farmer management.
PEARL 1 Cassava ProjectDonor Agency: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
This project focus on the development of high micronutrient-content cassava varieties to contribute to a more sustainable solution to the problem of vitamin A deficiency than current strategies, which rely on fortification and supplementation strategies and do not reach all affected populations. In order to consolidate on gains made so far by IITA, CIAT and NRCRI, this project will screen already developed varieties in Nigeria. Objectives include: evaluating and identifying superior, high dry matter and carotene- rich cassava varieties that can be made available to farmers; improving farmer’s access to a diversity of high carotene varieties appropriate to their needs and other end users through participatory evaluation and selection; developing new populations of high dry matter and carotene- rich cassava lines; and training a new generation of breeders in Ghana. Cassava is a highly gendered crop in Ghana, and this project incorporates gender through participatory selection using different gender groups; assessments of gender roles and responsibilities in cassava production; and gender-separated sensory evaluations of cassava samples.
Next Generation Cassava Breeding Project / UgandaDonor Agency: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Next Generation Cassava Breeding (NEXTGEN Cassava) project aims to significantly increase the rate of genetic improvement in cassava breeding and unlock the full potential of cassava through: development of methods to increase flowering and seed set in cassava; increasing the rate of genetic gain through use of genomic selection; development of a database for information storage and tracking; enhancement of cassava germplasm exchange between Latin American and Africa; support towards establishment of a biotechnology/biosafety outreach and training in Uganda; development of infrastructure and training of plant breeders in Africa.
Driving livelihood improvements through demand oriented interventions for competitive production and processing of cassavaDonor Agency: CRP-RTB
This project addresses opportunities related to improving efficiency and gender equity issues of cassava processing, and the resulting demand for sustainable intensification of cassava production systems. The research will also exploit opportunities for increasing farmer income through use of by-products of RTB production and processing waste for livestock feeding. Impact, especially benefitting women, will result from integrated improvements along the value chain: greater resource use efficiency and reduced pollution with processing into primary product; value-added utilization of by-products of production and waste from processing; and improved productivity, sustainability and profitability of smallholder cropping systems. This project creates the opportunity for researchers and stakeholders on three continents to work more closely together to expand the worldwide network of collaboration on post-harvest processing of RTBs for South-South learning
Mitigating hidden hunger with cassava as a source of pro-vitamin A carotenoidsDonor Agency: HarvestPlus Nigeria
This project aims to combat micronutrient deficiencies in women and children, primarily focusing on Vitamin A, through the development and dissemination of resilient cassava varieties with increased levels of ß-carotene. As homemakers and the primary actors in the cassava value chain, women play an important role in food choices, but often have little knowledge of yellow cassava and Vitamin A deficiency. There is therefore a need to better understand consumer or retailer preferences, and perceptions, on the productivity, processing, quality and product quality traits of yellow cassava.
Sweet potato Action for Security and Health (SASHA) with Genomic Tool for Sweet potato Improvement (GT4SP) complementingDonor Agency: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Breeding is an important element of this project, with breeding support platforms established in Uganda, Mozambique and Ghana. Population development for key attributes is complemented by gender-separated, participatory variety selection with national program partners to ensure that end-user-preferred varieties are developed and disseminated. The focus of breeding in Ghana is on exploiting and expanding the diversity of quality types (including non-sweet/staple types) suitable for use both fresh and in processed products, and on reducing postharvest perishability. Breeding efforts include a focus on the nutritious orange-fleshed sweetpotato, and target the larger West African region, most immediately Nigeria and Burkina Faso. The project also includes nutritional and other value chain components.
Establishment of pilot sites for the strengthening of local seed systems and the validation of strategies for eradication and replanting of banana plantations infected by BBTVDonor Agency: BIOVERSITY International
This project addresses Banana Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) caused by Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) through: testing and validation of Musa seed systems in BBTV affected farms; development of farmers’ knowledge based on symptoms and practices aimed at BBTD management; improved understanding of host-vector-virus relationships/epidemiology of the disease and awareness raising of different stakeholders/involving government support. Gender aspects are incorporated while organizing meetings in order to involve all categories of stakeholders in banana bunchy top disease management.