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Agribusiness

Establishing sustainable solutions to cassava diseases in mainland Southeast Asia

Project Code: AGB/2018/172
Program: Agribusiness
Budget:
A$3,999,999
Research Program Manager: Mr. Howard Hall
Project Leader: Jonathan Newby - International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Duration:
AUG 2019
2019
JUN 2023
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Key partners
Agricultural Genetics Institute
General Directorate of Agriculture
Hung Loc Agricultural Research Centre
Kasetsart University
National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute
Plant Protection Center
Department of Agriculture
Plant Protection Research Institute
Thai Tapioca Development Institute
The Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences
University of Queensland

Overview

This project is enhancing smallholder livelihoods and economic development across South East Asia by addressing the rapidly evolving cassava disease constraints affecting farmers in the region and improving the resilience of cassava production systems and value chains.

Throughout South East Asia, cassava has become an important crop in terms of both rural livelihoods and economic development. It is estimated that over 2 million households are engaged in cassava production, with the crop cultivated to meet the rapidly growing regional and global demand for animal feed, starch-based products, ethanol and biofuel.

This project directly addresses the two disease threats, Cassava Mosaic Disease and Cassava Witches Broom Disease, which if left unchecked will continue to spread throughout the region devastating cassava production, the incomes of millions of smallholder farmers, and a multibillion-dollar industry. The project consists of a multi-pronged strategy involving breeding, surveillance, agronomy, and seed systems interventions, coupled with engagement with government institutions and agribusiness.

Expected Outcomes

  • Enhanced farmer and industry stakeholder awareness of cassava disease and management options;
  • Minimise yield losses through farmers having access to high quality planting materials;
  • Adoption of new disease-resistant varieties of cassava; and
  • Enhanced coordination between national agencies in disease surveillance, quarantine, and management, and sustainable business models for upstream research and development and downstream farmer entrepreneurs working in the seed system.