Yellow cassava for extra Vitamin A
In Nigeria, a team of national and international crop breeders, coordinated by the HarvestPlus programme, have spent the last eight years developing varieties of cassava with high levels of Vitamin A, using conventional crop breeding techniques (not genetic modification). These yellow fleshed cassava tubers, if widely grown and eaten, could contribute significantly to a reduction in Vitamin A deficiency, a cause of poor health in as much as a third of Nigeria’s rural children. Three high yielding, Vitamin A-rich varieties are now ready for release and a multiplication programme is underway to make them widely available. Aveseh Asough visits crop breeders at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, and speaks to those involved in the multiplication process.
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