Global Cassava Coalition Advocates Support For Africa’s Cassava Transformation, Ahead the international conference on cassava, the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) has called on policy makers, donors and international community to support all efforts that will bring about cassava transformation in Africa.
This is coming at a time when cassava is becoming central to food security of over 600 million people in the developing world, and has become the fourth most important crop after maize, wheat and rice.
Presenting the upcoming conference to donors and international community in Cotonou, Director of GCP21, Dr. Claude Fauquet said despite the key role cassava is playing in Africa’s food security; its productivity had remained low, keeping the growers in the trap of poverty.
“When compared to Asia, cassava productivity in that continent is more than 21 tons per ha—a situation that gives Asia competitive advantage in global cassava trade. Addressing the yield gap demands more funding for cassava research and development (R&D) from all stakeholders, if truly the world wants to help farmers towards ending hunger and poverty in Africa.”
Fauquet said the conference scheduled for June 11-15, 2018 in Cotonou, Benin Republic with the theme: “Cassava Transformation in Africa,” is one of the ways the GCP21 is contributing towards the transformation of the root crop.
He called for participation of all stakeholders, emphasising that the conference would provide a unique opportunity for donors, investors, and policy makers to see and access the latest innovations and discoveries in the cassava sector.
The French Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Veronique Brumeaux, who hosted the press conference, said it was timely and would go a long way to address the constraints of cassava production, while at the same time proffering opportunities for investors and farmers alike to harness new innovations from the research community.