New cassava variety offers food security for local communities

06 Jan 2023
New cassava variety offers food security for local communities

The Gender Empowerment Team has taken the lead for increased crop yield and agriculture intensification activities in the project area. A few decades ago, fungi were destroying the cassava crops around Mai Ndombe, leading to crop failures around the country. A university study was conducted to explore other cassava varieties more resistant to fungi and found one specific species named “Obama” which proved to be both resistant as well as highly productive. Further testing of the Obama cassava has been undertaken in the Kinshasa region, leading to a 6-fold improvement in yield over the traditional varieties. have utilised this newfound cassava species in demonstration plantations across the participating villages. The communities have already seen a significant improvement in the cassava production and are very keen to adopt this variety more widely. Fortunately, the Obama cassava is more successful in marginal soils rather than primary forest soils, meaning that it works to alleviate the deforestation risk across the Mai Ndombe project area. This program has been very successful and will expand to more villages in the project area.