Breeding

child holding cassava

Our Impact

includes NextGen cassava varieties that deliver farmer identified quality traits in addition to offering increased yield and improved disease resistance adopted by smallholder farmers and cassava processors in sub-Saharan Africa.

Genomic resources developed for global cassava community

  • 3rd Generation Hapmap for cassava
  • Whole genome resequencing
  • 1,273 cassava clones
  • 20 million SNPs
  • Regular genotyping
  • Over 42,000 cassava accessions genotyped

Adoption of genomic selection has shortened breeding cycle by more than half

Our Approach

To improve cassava populations and breeding pipelines and extensively test improved clones for variety release, this division implements breeding pipelines at four breeding programs in Africa: the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Nigeria; the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria (with additional support from IITA/Uganda); the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Namulonge, Uganda; and the Tanzanian Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Ukiriguru, Tanzania.

Pre-breeding for traits relevant to Africa and aid in germplasm acquisition is carried out in two other breeding programs in South America, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). Other centers, such as the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Pacific West and the University of Hawaii at Hilo, play roles as centers for phytosanitary certification and as international nurseries for cassava germplasm transfer in a disease-free environment.

To build capacity in Africa’s breeding programs, NextGen Cassava funds students to obtain advanced degrees in plant breeding. Cornell University, the West African Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, and Makerere University, Uganda are involved in this effort.

Kiddo Mtunde

NextGen Annual Meeting Breeding Division update

Breeding Team

Robert Kuwuki, Breeding Team Leader (NARS)

NaCRRI

Peter Kulakow, Breeding Implementation Lead (CG)

IITA

Ismail Rabbi, Breeding Optimization Field Lead

IITA

Afolabi Agbona
IITA

Alfredo Alves
Embrapa

Wasiu Awoyale
IITA

Luis-Augusto Becerra
CIAT

 Eder de Oliveira
Embrapa

Williams Esuma
NaCRRI

Lydia Ezenwaka
NRCRI

Uba Ezenwanyi
NRCRI

Kasele Feruzi
TARI

Edward Kanju
IITA

Ismail Kayondo
IITA

Esther Masumba
TARI

Busie Maziya-Dixon
IITA

Gaby Mbanjo
IITA

Damian Njoku
NRCRI

Richard Ofei
IITA

Joseph Onyeka
NRCRI

Princess Onyegbule
NRCRI

Alfred Ozimati
NaCRRI

Prasad Peteti
IITA

Xiaofei Zhang
CIAT

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