The West Africa Virus Epidemiology Program (WAVE) has once again reiterated its commitment to provide a lasting solution to the impending threat of food shortage caused by cassava viral disease.
AgroNigeria’s Executive Director, Mrs. Idongesit Mbaram reports live at the on-going meeting in Golden Tulip Hotel, Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The WAVE program which was founded in 2015 and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for international Development is committed to augment the productivity of root and tuber crops in West and Central Africa.
It does this through the development of effective methods for the control of viral diseases.
Mbaram reports that the meeting is to create awareness on the looming threat while encouraging experts to provide lasting solutions to the issue.
The program is also aimed at seeking the cooperation of African leaders and various agencies in the course.
Africa’s position as the largest cassava producer is under threat following the growing rate of Cassava Mosaic Disease and now the recent emergence of Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) in Central Africa.
The latest development could lead to a decrease of about 90 or even 100 per cent of the continent’s cassava production capacity which would be an economic loss of between US$2 to $3 billion for sub-Saharan Africa yearly.
The development also shows that the Cassava Mosaic Disease can lead to 40-70 per cent yield loss.
In the paper gathered by our Executive Director, Africa produces 57 per cent of the world’s cassava, but with the lowest average yield (10t/Ha), estimating that by 2050, due to population growth and increasing urbanization, this yield is expected to exceed (25t/Ha) to cover cassava related food and industrial needs.
However, if the situation remains the same, the yield could only reach (15 t/Ha) compared to Asia with a yield of (21.34 t/Ha) in 2016