Cassava productivity in sub-Saharan Africa has stagnated at around 10 tons per hectare, well below attainable yields of over 30 tons per hectare. With the need for intensifying cassava production in areas where population densities have reduced access to fallow land and cassava becoming important raw material for the processing sector, this yield gap needs to be reduced. However, doing so requires investments in the development of improved varieties and identification of appropriate soil management practices. While investments in the former have advanced, investments in soil management and cassava agronomy have lagged behind. Intensification furthermore requires investments in inputs and labor and, thus, access to fresh root markets or value-adding processing is equally essential.
To (i) enable the development of best cassava agronomic practices; (ii) develop site-specific recommendations based on smallholder farmers resources; (iii) develop a decision-support framework for development partners interacting with smallholder cassava farmers that allows bringing recommendations to scale; and (iv) develop scientific capacity within the national research systems by engaging them in transformative cassava R4D.
• In partner countries: It will contextualize new and available geo-spatial, plot and farm level information through the development of accessible and scalable decision-support applications for the sustainable intensification of cassava-based systems. These decision-support applications may be used by development, private sector and delivery partners, thus reaching considerable numbers of farming households in the target agro-ecologies. The project will address the issue of access to input and output markets, a prerequisite for cassava intensification, through strategic engagement with scaling partners.
• In Switzerland: Enhancing food security in sub-Saharan Africa is of utmost importance now and in the decades to come, for political and economic stability on both the African and the European continent.
Partner countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda
Cost: CHF 7,5 Mio
Duration: 5 years