Chinese Initiative to Enhance Cassava Cultivation in Africa

Agricultural experts from the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) have unveiled plans to enhance cassava cultivation in Africa, a continent heavily reliant on starchy tubers for sustenance. The initiative aims to introduce new cassava varieties and advanced farming techniques to over 500,000 hectares of land across African countries. By improving both cultivation methods and varieties, the project aims to significantly increase cassava yields, with expectations of surpassing 17 tonnes per hectare. The plan, announced at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture, includes support for countries like Nigeria, Mozambique, and the Republic of the Congo in breeding better varieties, improving cultivation techniques, and promoting mechanization on cassava farms. The ultimate goal is to bolster food security and lift small farmers out of poverty by increasing both productivity and market access for cassava crops. African participants have welcomed the initiative as a vital technological transfer that could empower the continent in its fight against hunger and poverty, emphasizing the need for collaboration between African and Chinese scientists to effectively implement these advancements.