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Root and Tuber Crops Research Program

Introduction
Tanzania is the fourth producer of cassava in Africa with annual fresh roots production of about 5,000,000 tons.Cassava productivity in Tanzania is only 8 t/ha while the average sweet potato yield has been reported to be 4.5 tons per hectare.  These cassava and sweet potato productivities are well below their potential yield (e.g. at least 20t/ha and 10t/ha for cassava and sweet potato, respectively). Low yields arise due to the fact that, majority of farmers use local varieties with low genetic potential and their susceptibility to major diseases and insect pests namely  Cassava green mites (CGM), Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD), Cassava Brown Steak Disease (CBSD) and sweet potato virus diseases (SPVD).
The National Root and Tuber Crops Research Program has its headquarters at Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute in Mtwara. The program focuses mainly on cassava and sweetpotato crops.Its vision is to contribute to improved livelihoods and food security of cassava, Irish potato and sweet potato dependent households in Tanzania. The main objectives of the program are to (i) identify and develop root and tuber crops varieties adapted to main agro-ecologies of the country, (ii) identify major diseases and insect pests of economic importance of root and tuber crops and develop suitable control measures, (iii) develop the best cultural practices for these crops, (iv) Develop and promote post-harvest processing technologies and innovations and (v) disseminate technologies and innovations to end users.
In southern zone, the program focuses on cassava and sweet potato crops. This report highlights various cassava and sweet potato research activities undertaken by the program mainly in the southern zone from December 2013 to November2014.

These activities are summarized below:

1. Evaluation of Advanced Cassava Lines.

2. Biotechnology Applications to Combat Cassava Brown Streak Disease

3. New Cassava Varieties and Clean Seed to Combat Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Cassava Mosaic Disease Project (5CP)
4. Improving cassava productivity and utilization in Tanzania
5. Enhancing farmer access to improved cassava and sweetpotao planting materials in Eastern, Southern and Central Zones of Tanzania

 

Major areas of Research (Cassava).

  1. To develop high yielding varieties.
  2. To identify insects disease of cassava in southern zone
  3. To  develop/address  Agronomy practices of cassava
  4. To multiply and disseminate improved varieties and techuics which we have developed.

 

Staffing.

The staff disposition in the Roots and Tuber crops in the Southern zone is made up of the following.

Researchers.

  1. Dr. G.S.Mkamilo                    -        Program Lead Scientist National Co –ordinator PHD holder
  2. Bernadeta Kimata                -         Senior Agricultural Reserch Officer
  3. Festo F Masisila                  -          Senior Agricultural Reserch Officer
  4. Mr. Njapuka Abdallah             -         Principal Agricultural Officer.
  5. Mr. Dwasi Gambo                  -        AFO

 

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