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Cassava – Capacity building

In Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania, cassava researchers have benefited from physical infrastructure, as well as from GCP’s Genotyping Support Service (GSS), and GCP is also funding several postgraduate students working on cassava – including at least one in each of the four countries in the cassava community of practice (CoP),which includes Uganda.

An informatics and data management workshop was held for all four partner countries in Accra, Ghana, in July 2010.

The aim is to strengthen the capacity of country breeding programmes to combine both conventional and molecular breeding.

For the African cassava breeders Community of Practice (CoP) supported by the CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme (GCP), capacity development is important. “Capacity building is critical for the CoP, especially to use the products coming from GCP,” says Emmanuel Okogbenin, the CoP Coordinator.

He adds, “The common adage that people are the most important asset is not quite true. The right people are your most important asset. People with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes.”

Postgraduate students from partner institutes supported by the cassava RI

Country Student Home institute University Course Research area Status
Ghana Joseph Adjebeng-Danquah SARI–CSIR WACCI, University of Ghana PhD Genetic studies of cassava genotypes for improved productivity in the guinea savanna zone of northern Ghana Enrolled in 2010
Ruth Prempeh CRI-CSIR WACCI, University of Ghana PhD Genetic sutides on root quality trais in cassava with emphasis on postharvest physiological deterioration Enrolled in 2009
Bright Boakye Peprah CRI-CSIR University of Ghana MSc Genotype-by-environment effects on improved cassava varieties Enrolled in 2008 (via CoP)
Nigeria Bunmi Olasanmi NRCRI University of Ibadan, Nigeria PhD QTLs for early maturity for cassava Completed in 2010 (enrolled via CoP)
Tanzania Bernedetha Kimata ARI-Tanzania Egerton University, Kenya MSc Genetic linkage mapping of CBSD tolerance Enrolled in 2009 (via CoP)
Uganda Williams Esuma NaCRRI Makerere University, Uganda MSc Genetic diversity of yellow-root cassava germplasm in Uganda Enrolled in 2009 (via CoP)


Site-specific infrastructural development is planned for GCP Phase II, based on an ongoing needs assessment at research-station level. Thus far, infrastructural improvement includes:

  • 2011: Topographic surveys, improved infrastructure (irrigation systems, fencing, and weather stations), and plot rehabilitation for partners in Ghana and Nigeria
  • 2005–2006: GCP supported the establishment of a modest molecular breeding laboratory at NRCRI in Nigeria, and a marker-assisted selection laboratory at CRI–CSIR in Ghana.