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WACCI alumnus develops cassava varieties with extended fresh root shelf-life

Dr. Damian Ndubuisi Njoku of the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Nigeria has developed promising cassava varieties with extended fresh roots shelf-life. The improved varieties which remain fresh 15 days after harvest were deliverables of a Bill and Melinda Gates-funded “Programme for Emerging Agriculture Research Leaders (PEARL) project (2015-2019) led by Dr. Njoku, a 2013 graduate of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI).

Dr. Damian Ndubuisi Njoku


The improved cassava genotypes will help address the problem associated with the decay of cassava roots commonly known as Post-harvest Physiological Deterioration, (PPD), said  Dr. Njoku in a video documentary.  PPD is a major post-harvest challenge associated with cassava roots decaying rapidly after harvesting. Working with the Cornell NextGen and HarvestPlus initiatives and using advanced technologies, tools and methods, Dr. Njoku hopes to release resilient, nutritious and productive varieties of cassava to enhance food security in the most populous country in Africa.

Dr. Njoku is currently an Assistant Director and the Coordinator for the Cassava Improvement Programme at the NRCRI. WACCI is proud of Dr. Njoku, one of several alumni leading plant breeding programmes in 18 countries in Africa.  

Watch the video…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGDTnxeCFkw&feature=youtu.be