Cassava germplasm with high yields as well as attributes suitable for industrial uses is constrained by low genetic diversity. The potential for genetic improvement through creation of diversity has been demonstrated for yield and other traits in cassava (Akinwale et al., 2010). In view of this, the project seeks to develop new varieties through genetic crosses, including landraces and exotic varieties to improve chances of producing progenies that meet farmers’ needs.
The Cassava Program, which comprises improvement and agronomy, has over the years focused its activities at improving and disseminating improved production technologies (improved varieties and good production practices) to farmers and other stakeholders for increased productivity. It has also provided support in the form of training and backstopping to MoFA Extension Agents and NGO’s involved in technology dissemination.
KEY ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- Participatory generation of adaptable integrated crop and weed management strategies to increase productivity and investigate linkages between spear grass and root rot disease in cassava roots. – Dr. Grace Bolfrey-Arku
- Evaluate 17 previously released varieties for resistance/tolerance to cassava mosaic virus disease and other common cassava diseases under field conditions in disease hot spots and identify the different serotypes and/or strains of mosaic virus using lab assay. – Dr. J.N.L. Lamptey/ Dr Ruth Prempeh
- Identify the virulent white fly biotypes responsible for the spread of the virus diseases in Cassava.- Dr M.B. Mochiah
- Collect different whitefly populations from three cassava-growing regions of Ghana (Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Central) to determine what kind of whitefly is present, the type of begomovirus it carries, and the susceptibility of cassava varieties to infection - Dr. M.B. Mochiah
- Distribute healthy planting materials of released varieties from fields established in 2013 (Breeder, primary and secondary) – Dr. Joe Manu- Aduening.
- Develop new high yielding varieties that are tolerant to pest and diseases and with high quality traits that is acceptable to farmers. Dr. Joe Manu- Aduening
- Mitigate the outbreak and spread of common cassava diseases like the East African Cassava Mosaic Virus: identify the different serotypes and /or strains of mosaic virus and virulent white fly biotypes responsible for the spread of the virus diseases in Cassava.- Dr J.N.L. Lamptey/ Dr. Ruth Prempeh
- Product development from cassava effluent; assessing the environmental and beneficial effects of cassava processing effluents by determining the physical and chemical characteristics of fresh effluent and soil at gari processing sites – Mr. Harry Okyere
- Determine the physical and chemical characteristics of fermented effluent intermittently over a period; ascertain levels of effluent contamination on the environment; design a protocol or process that minimize the negative effect on the environment and assess the potential use of the cassava effluent as herbicide and other use of benefits for human. - Mr. Harry Okyere
- Carry out nationwide adoption and impact studies
- To carry out informant surveys to ascertain the cassava technologies that have been disseminated so far - Dr. Patricia Acheampong
- To carry out in-depth study to establish the use of the technologies and determine the effect of use of technologies on farmers’ incomes and food security. - Dr. Patricia Acheampong