Better understanding = better interventions

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To develop suitable and effective interventions, MIRACLE conducted a baseline survey of beneficiary households across the four participating countries to identify constraints to production, marketing, and technology adoption. More than 600 farm households were surveyed in each participating country. The results of the survey provided a clearer picture of the livelihood status of the target communities and guided our researchers … Read More

Keeping a banana menace on check

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Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum (Xcm), is threatening banana production across the Great Lakes region of East and Central Africa. No banana cultivar has resistance to the disease, yet the people of this region are highly dependent on the crop for food security and income generation. In collaboration with national research and regulatory … Read More

Battling a dual threat on cassava

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Farming communities in East African have for many years relied on cassava as a food security crop. Increasingly, however, the role of the crop has broadened, as improved utilization and marketing have provided new opportunities for generating cash income. Pests and diseases threaten this progress. Although there is a great diversity of these biotic constraints, the most economically important are … Read More

Towards safer staples

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Aflatoxins are highly toxic chemicals that suppress the immune system, impede growth and development, and cause liver disease and even death. Children and the poor are usually the most affected. Because of these recognized health risks, aflatoxins are heavily regulated in international shipments. African nations are unable to realize the full potential of export of some agricultural commodities due to … Read More

A Southern MIRACLE

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In an effort to unleash the potential of agriculture and agricultural research to achieve health and nutritional outcomes in Africa, we are implementing with partners in the region a multi-country and multi-year project entitled Making Agricultural Innovations Work for Smallholder Farmers Affected by HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa (MIRACLE) in identified HIV/AIDS hotspots in Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia. … Read More

Stemming on invasion of cassava diseases

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The Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) is one of the most devastating diseases of cassava – a vital staple and cash crop in many African countries. The disease is known to be well-established in many countries in East and Central Africa; luckily, it has not yet fully reared its ugly head in Southern Africa. However as the disease slowly creeps southwards, … Read More

In Zambia: aflatoxins no more!

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Zambian farmers are in high spirits as IITA and partners develop and distribute aflasafeTM that is tailor-made for the country, giving hope of crops that are safe from deadly aflatoxins. In mid-January 2013, maize farmers in the Eastern Province of Zambia started receiving the first-ever batch of the Zambian aflasafeTM that is now being applied in their fields. This marks … Read More

New approaches in genetic improvement of cassava

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Researchers at IITA have played a major role in the genetic improvement of cassava for the African continent over the last 40 years. Hundreds of improved varieties that are not only high-yielding but also nutritious and tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses have been developed and extensively deployed in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these advances were achieved through conventional breeding, … Read More

Nutrition enhancement research and better stress tolerance in maize

adminResearch highlight, Research highlight 2012 - Western Africa, Research highlights 20120 Comments

In the team, we have devoted attention to the continual infusion of new and diverse germplasm towards the expansion of the genetic base of adapted inbred lines with high pro-vitamin A content. This work is mainly funded by the BMGF through HarvestPlus, an interdisciplinary program coordinated by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research … Read More

A “cottage industry” in Benin for the production of natural enemies of Maruca vitrata, a major pest of cowpea

adminResearch highlight, Research highlight 2012 - Western Africa, Research highlights 20120 Comments

Maruca vitrata, popularly referred to as the pod borer, is an endemic pest of cowpea in West Africa. From the initial larval to the adult phase, this pest attacks the cowpea plant. The larva starts off by boring into the flower, leading to shedding. As the plant matures and starts to produce pods, the grown up larva now bores into … Read More