Fighting Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD)
ASARECA supported scientists from Uganda to fight CBSD that had wrecked havoc in the region between 2000 and 2011. Losses due to CBSD were estimated at above US$ 100 million. Up to 25 districts in Uganda were affected, with Luweero, Busia, Pallisa, Wakiso, Mukono, and Kaberamaido being the hotspots. ASARECA led the development of an Information Resource Kit used in awareness creation campaigns, and in training of farmers and extension workers on detection of affected materials. Researchers have since developed varieties that are tolerant to CBSD as efforts continue to find varieties that are totally resistant to the disease.
Establishing cassava and potato standards for EAC states
ASARECA in partnership with the National Bureaus of Standards of the East African Community (EAC) states coordinated the formulation of the East African standards for cassava, seed potato, potato and related products. As a result, 11 rationalized and harmonized standards for cassava and sweet potato were approved by the EAC in 2010, hence opening up space for structured trade and industrialization of the commodities. As a result of this breakthrough, the Popular Kumi Women Initiative (PKWI) cooperative (with 2,500 farmers) collaborated with Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA-Uganda) and started producing high quality cassava flour that was sold to confectionaries in Kampala, while Makerere University’s Department of Food Science and Technology currently makes cassava chips for local and export markets.