Case for a Better Cassava

  • 21 February 2018
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 8753
Case for a Better Cassava

Hawai‘i County Extension agent Sharon Motomura and CTAHR are collaborators in the international Next Generation Cassava Breeding Project, which aims to identify and breed new varieties of cassava for smallholder farmers in Africa. Unlike many other breeding projects, a recent article from Cornell University explains, this one specifically focuses on traits that are desired by the farmers and other end-users, leading to higher levels of adoption. Some traits include disease resistance, climate resilience, and higher dry-matter content, which translates to greater food value. Motomura, pictured with project director Chiedozie Egesi, from Cornell, and CTAHR student assistant Joanna Norton in front of a cassava plot at the Waiakea Experiment Station, is growing a high-yielding virus-resistant African variety and a South American variety with high beta carotene content and high food value.