The Next Generation Cassava Breeding project (NextGen Cassava) seeks to modernize partner cassava breeding institutions in Africa and use cutting-edge tools for efficient delivery of improved varieties of cassava. This international project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UK aid from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
Dr. Chiedozie Egesi, NextGen Cassava project manager
During the recent annual AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) meeting in Washington, D.C., The Economist interviewed Dr. Chiedozie Egesi, NextGen Cassava project manager. Chiedozie spoke about the potential of the NextGen Cassava project to improve the cassava crop and address challenges such as disease, low yield, and vitamin deficiency.
See the full story, “Cassava-nova,” in the online edition of The Economist.
“Cornell researchers now have a new, state-of-the-art greenhouse facility available to house tall crops important to New York State growers, such as corn, trellised peas, alfalfa and biofuel grasses.
Part of the Guterman Greenhouse Range east of the School of Veterinary Medicine, the 8,000-square-foot facility is also home to research projects with international impact, such as the cassava breeding project.
Precision environmental controls, 16-foot double-pane glass side walls, and shade- and insulation-curtains in all eight compartments create a highly energy-efficient research environment…”
A recent article in The Guardian by Jean-Luc Jannink discusses NEXTGEN Cassava’s objectives and its progress as the project enters its third year. Jean-Luc outlines the importance of cassava production in the developing world, the challenges that cassava farmers face, and the scientific techniques NEXTGEN Cassava is employing to unlock cassava’s true potential in Africa.
Jean-Luc Jannink is a Research Plant Geneticist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University. He leads NextGen Cassava’s Genomic Selection objective.