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Kenyan research institute secures US$100,000 for cassava research

Kenyan research organisation, BecA-ILRI, has been awarded US$100,000 funding to develop research on genetic resistance to cassava brown streak disease and cassava mosaic disease in Africa

The Bio Science Eastern and Central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA- ILRI) will work on ways to eradicate the disease, which is affecting crops across East and Central Africa.

“It is important to note that there are other emerging cassava diseases caused by viruses other than those known to cause cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak disease,” stated Apollinaire Djikeng, interim director of BecA-ILRI at the 21st International Plant and Animal Genome conference held in San Diego.

“Cassava has been neglected in the past and yet there are arid and semi-arid areas where they could thrive, if scientific innovations are promoted.

"This can relieve the huge population from poverty and hunger as well as dependence on food aid," he added.

The grant was awarded by Illumina Agricultural Greater Good initiative, a manufacturer of life science tools and integrated systems situated in San Diego United States.