Item Details


Date Published: 2000
Author/s: Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute (NAARI) Uganda
G. W. Otim-Nape (Team Leader and Plant Virologist) A. Bua (Socioeconomist) G. Ssemakula (Plant Breeder) Ms G. Acola (Socioeconomist) Y. Baguma (Agronomist) S. Ogwal (Ento
Data publication:
Funding Agency : Government of Uganda, The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, U.K
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Affiliation: Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute (NAARI) Uganda


Cassava, introduced in Uganda between 1862 and 1875, is currently one of the most important staple food crops in the country. Approximately 3.5 million tonnes have been produced from c. 0.4 million ha of land. The crop is grown in mixtures of legumes and cereals in small plots of land. Major constraint to production include pests and diseases particularly the African cassava mosaic virus which has decimated production in the country, bacterial blight, mealybug and green spider mite. A severe form of African cassava mosaic virus disease appeared in 1988 and has since eliminated cassava in many parts of the country. In order to restore cassava production an aggressive programme of on-farm trials, multiplication of mosaic-resistant varieties, training of extension staff and farmers was carried out. A national network of cassava workers (NANEC) and an integrated strategy for mosaic resistant cassava variety development stem multiplication and distribution were developed and used to implement the programme. Lack of planting materials of suitable varieties and bitterness in cassava also limit production. Despite some limitation and failures, government interventions through investments in infrastructure (roads, marketing, etc.), cassava processing, restructuring agricultural research and marketing systems, investment in cassava research and technology transfer has had some positive impact on cassava production in the country. The cassava programme has the mandate to develop new technologies for cassava production. Its specific objectives include development and transfer of improved varieties acceptable by farmers, developing sustainable methods for pest and disease control, development of improved technologies for production and utilization of the crop. Achievements so far include release of new varieties of cassava resistant to mosaic virus, biological control of mealybug and green spider mite and multiplication and distribution of over 70 000 ha of planting materials of the mosaic resistant varieties. Future strategies for cassava development will rest on government policies and infrastructures that will be supportive of cassava research and development, increased funding and human resource deployment and motivation, improved processing, storage, commercialization and marketing of the crop