Improving Crops


29 Sep: Giving hope to cassava farmers in Zambia

For the last five years, IITA has been intensifying its cassava value chain research in Zambia, supported by different development partners and donors. These include the Mitigating Cassava Disease Threats for Improving Cassava Production in Zambia project, a subcomponent of the Zambia Feed-the-Future research-for-development Program funded by USAID; the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC) in Africa project funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB); and the Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Program (SAPP)-Cassava Intervention Plan funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL)

29 Sep: Blazing the trail for next generation cocoa R4D in West and Central Africa

The majority of the world’s cocoa, about 70%, is produced in West and Central Africa by Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Around 6 million ha are planted to the crop in the region, mostly in smallholder farms. Despite feeding the global chocolate market, worth an estimated US$98.3 billion, the regional cocoa sector is still besieged by persistent problems such as pests and diseases, ageing trees, outdated farming techniques, and limited research support.

29 Sep: Transforming lives through better seeds in Mozambique

Agriculture is the backbone of Mozambique’s economy, with over 80% of the total population depending on agriculture for food, income, and employment. In 2010, agriculture generated approximately 23% of the gross national product, suggesting low returns to labor. Therefore, accelerating agricultural growth is key to eradicating poverty and improving food security especially in the rural areas. However, several biophysical and socioeconomic factors continue to undermine efforts to address these challenges.