A cassava is a hardy and very useful crop that does well in droughts and poor soils. It requires little input from farmers and is valuable because every part of the plant can be utilised, from its leaves to its roots. However, Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is disrupting cassava production on a massive scale.
CBSD is caused by the Cassava Brown Streak virus which induces a dry rot in the cassava tubers preventing people from eating them. As an important staple food to over 200 million people CBSD is one of the greatest threats to food security in sub-Saharan Africa.
The grant forms part of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development Initiative, which is working with a wide range of partners in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to provide millions of small farmers with tools and opportunities to boost their yields, increase their incomes and build better lives for themselves and their families.