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New cassava varieties endorsed for release in Nigeria

Five new cassava varieties developed with support from NextGen Cassava, an international partnership led by Cornell, have been approved for release in Nigeria.

The new varieties were approved Dec. 17 by Nigeria’s National Variety Release Committee. They are:

  • Game-Changer;
  • Hope;
  • Obasanjo-2;
  • Baba-70; and
  • Poundable.

All five feature high yields and robust disease resistance important for farmers, and taste and nutrition characteristics sought by consumers.

“The foundation of a solid crop value chain is based on best-bet varieties,” said Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. “As a country, we are excited that the new NextGen cassava varieties address the needs of the cassava industry and we look forward to providing millions of Nigerian cassava growers access to these varieties.”

The releases by the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) are the first varieties released using the modernized breeding technologies supported by NextGen Cassava, a project based in Cornell’s Department of Global Development and implemented by IITA and NRCRI, along with the national programs of Uganda and Tanzania.

“Cassava is the foundation of food security and agricultural development in Nigeria – the country’s health is inextricably tied to the health of its cassava,” said plant breeder Chiedozie Egesi, the NextGen Cassava project director and faculty in the Cornell Global Development and the School of Integrative Plant Science. “These five new varieties represent not only a culmination of years of collaborative work among our partners, but also new opportunities for cassava growers and processors in Nigeria.”

NextGen Cassava is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Read the full story on the NextGen Cassava website.

John Bakum is a communications specialist in the Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock