IITA leads regional exchange of elite cassava varieties to combat deadly viral diseases

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Picture of Dr Edward Kanju inspecting some tissue-cultured cassava plantlets

The success of any breeding program comes from having a diversity of genetic material. As part of efforts to intensify the development of cassava varieties with dualresistance to two diseases destroying the crop in countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, IITA is spearheading an initiative to facilitate the exchange of the most promising material between the countries in the region … Read More

Soil, crop and livestock experts seeking a mixed basket of solutions for smallholder farmers’ challenges: lessons from the Africa- RISING experiences in Babati

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Picture of Africa-RISING farmers with their climbing beans introduced by CIAT

Most of the farmers in sub-Saharan Africa practice mixed farming on mostly small parcels of land – they grow different crops, cereal, grain legumes, vegetables and fruit trees, and keep livestock. The research program Africa-RISING, led by IITA, brings together many different partners to develop integrated science-based technologies and management practices that better integrate these different components. The overall objective … Read More

Saving Africa’s coffee from the heat through climatesmart technologies to improve smallholders’ income and resilience in the East African highlands

adminResearch highlight 2013 - Eastern Africa, Research highlights 20130 Comments

Picture of Farmers walking past coffee-banana intercropped fields in Mbale, Uganda.

Coffee is a primary source of foreign exchange revenue for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya. The crop is mainly produced by over two million smallholders who own less than two hectares of land on which they also grow a diverse mixture of food crops, such as bananas, cassava, maize and beans. With declining soil fertility, increasing pest and disease … Read More

Tackling a hidden danger: efforts to introduce Aflasafe in Kenya get boost from promising efficacy trials

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Picture of Dr R. Wanjogu of National Irrigation Board sensitizing farmers in Bura-A.

IITA and their national and international partners are making very good progress in their efforts to avail to farmers in Kenya an affordable yet highly effective solution, a biopesticide codenamed Aflasae KE01™, to reduce contamination of key staple crops by aflatoxins, a cancer causing chemical produced by naturally-occurring fungi found in soils. Efficacy trials of the biopesticide in different parts … Read More

Scientists + farmers = improved cassava

adminResearch highlight 2013 - Southern Africa, Research highlights 20130 Comments

Picture of Whiteflies and sooty mould on lower leaves of cassava plant in Zambia.

Cassava is the second most important staple food crop after maize in southern Africa. Most rural people grow and depend on cassava roots as a staple food while using also the leaves as relish. Cassava, therefore, has a central role in IITA research activities in the region. At Chitedze Research Station in Zambia, more than 3000 cassava seedlings from 26 … Read More

Better soybean for Africa

adminResearch highlight 2013 - Southern Africa, Research highlights 20130 Comments

Picture of Since the 1970’s, IITA has been working to improve the production of soybean in Africa and the lives of millions of smallholder farmers who depend on it for their livelihoods.

Since the mid-1970’s, IITA has been undertaking soybean improvement in Africa in response to poor yields, low seed viability, poor nodulation with native Rhizobium available in the soil, high pod shattering, and lack of knowledge on postharvest utilization suitable for smallholder famers. IITA’s work has contributed to significantly developing the crop and increasing its production from average yields of 0.5 … Read More

Boosting soybean yields in Mozambique through rhizobium inoculation

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Picture of Root of soybean plant grown in an inoculated field showing good nodulation (white outgrowth on the roots).

Legumes have unique ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen (N) through symbiotic association with root nodule bacteria. This ability reduces the need for fertilizer N application. The bacteria, collectively called Rhizobium must be present in the soil to infect the root of the plant and develop the symbiotic plant organ called “nodules”, the housing for the nitrogen fixation process. To ensure … Read More

Raising the yield bar through better soybean agronomy

adminResearch highlight 2013 - Southern Africa, Research highlights 20130 Comments

Picture of A soybean farmer in her seed multiplication field in Mozambique.

For many resource-poor farmers in Mozambique, soybean is relatively a new crop but it is one of the most profitable smallholder crops in parts of Zambezia, Lichinga, Nampula and Tete provinces, in areas where mean annual rainfall is above of 1400 mm. The demand for soybean is high and this is driven by the growing domestic poultry industry. The inadequate … Read More

Multiple stress-tolerant early and extra-early maize to boost maize production in West and Central Africa

adminResearch highlight 2013 - Western Africa, Research highlights 20130 Comments

Picture of drought-toletant and susceptible maize hybrids at Ikenne.

Extra-early and early maturing maize cultivars developed by IITA and partners has made it possible for the crop to spread fairly rapidly into the savannas because of its high productivity, wide adaptation and relative ease of cultivation, processing, storage and transportation. This has increased the potential of the crop to combat the food security challenges posed by population increase in … Read More

Adaptation to climate change and adoption of drought-tolerant maize varieties by smallholder farmers

adminResearch highlight 2013 - Western Africa, Research highlights 20130 Comments

Picture of A woman farmer in her maize field.

There is a general consensus that the climate is changing and that this change has a significant impact on agricultural production worldwide. Africa is expected to be particularly hard hit by climate change because of the geographical challenge, high dependence on agriculture, and with limited capacity to adapt due to poverty and low level of technological development. Smallholder farmers are … Read More