• The National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike in Abia State has warned against possible outbreak of Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), a deadly crop disease which mainly attacks cassava plants.

    The warning was issued during the launching of WAVE Project, a campaign programme against the dreaded CBSD, organised in Umudike, Abia State for agricultural researchers from Ivory Coast, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Togo and Ghana.

    The Executive Director of the Institute, Julius Okonkwo (Dr) in his remarks at the occasion expressed the importance of the WAVE Project, saying it would help to save the continent from serious embarrassment.

    He added that the institute has made tremendous progress in developing value-added products from cassava.

    Julius Okonkwo inferred that since the institution has a national mandate for cassava research and development in Nigeria, it is taking a pre-emptive initiative on the CBSD threat in the country.

    He also indicated on Nigeria’s position as the world’s largest cassava producer that the federal government would take necessary steps to salvage the situation.

    “The CBSD which emerged as one of the most important diseases of cassava can lead to complete loss of root yield in the crop, thus making it a severe threat to food security for the country, also affecting the economy. Its symptoms include: folia necrosis, stem lesions and root necrosis,” he posited.

    “International foundations such as Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation has commenced measures with the sum of $3.6 million for research and campaign against CBSD and the fund is domiciled with the University of Felix Houphant-Boigny in Ivory Coast.” (FIC Umuahia Press Report)

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