Root and Tuber Improvement Programme
- develop a sustainable system for multiplication and distribution of improved planting materials for roots and tubers
- develop an integrated pest management system, including biological control, to reduce the incidence of disease and pests
- strengthen on-farm adaptive research and increase the availability of new cropping, storage and processing techniques
- empower resource-poor farmers, particularly women, to ensure that they have unimpeded access to improved technologies
Rich varieties of a "poor people's crop"
One of the innovative features of the first phase of the Root and Tuber Improvement Programme, which was completed in 2005, was to focus on crops traditionally associated with poverty. The programme had an impact on improving food security through the development, testing, multiplication and distribution of new varieties of roots and tubers, mainly cassava. The new varieties were selected for their faster growth, better taste and higher yield. As a result, cassava's prestige grew even among urban consumers.
About 720,000 farmers were able to access the new varieties and many participated in the 17 farmer field schools that the programme set up across the country.
The new phase, entitled the Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme, will now focus on improving market linkages between producers and consumers to boost poor rural farmers' incomes.
04 December 1997
1997 - 2005
Total Project Cost
US$ 10.11 million
US$ 9.02 million
National Government US$ 1.03 million