CTAHR has roots around the world! Although the college isn’t mentioned in Nature magazine’s article about an exciting new cassava-breeding project, the lead photograph shows local Hawaiian cassava seedlings planted in Nigeria. Extension agent Sharon Motomura is a collaborator in the international Next Generation Cassava Breeding Project highlighted in the article, which is working to identify and breed new varieties of cassava for smallholder farmers in Africa and around the world. Unlike many other breeding projects, this one specifically focuses on traits identified as desirable by the farmers and small producers themselves. Some traits include disease resistance, climate resilience, and higher starch content, which translates to greater food value.
CTAHR is also collaborating with local cassava growers Alan and Fuafanua Hoeft, whose farm, Island Manaia, is profiled in this article in Hawaii Magazine. Cassava is a promising staple crop for Hawai‘i, with its ability to grow in poor soil with relatively little water.