A global action plan to fight cassava viruses was published in the Food Security Journal early this month. The Bellagio Conference Roadmap, was developed at cassava expert meeting that took place in Bellagio, Italy, in May 2013 by an alliance of approximately forty researchers with varied backgrounds – from agronomy to social sciences
Convened by the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21), the alliance of experts defined key areas of action needed to eradicate cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak disease – that are currently devastating one of the most important crops for developing countries.
“Cassava has proven to be a crop that can tolerate poor soils and adapt to extreme climatic conditions such as drought. It now feeds around 700 million people worldwide, in Africa, Latin America and Asia,” said Claude Fauquet, Director of GCP21.
The GCP21 is a partnership of various stakeholders in cassava production working toward a more concerted approach to cassava improvement globally. The partnership aims at tapping the crop’s potential for improving food security and contributing to development in the world’s poorest areas through increased production and consumption.
Next month, the BecA-ILRI Hub will be part of a meeting which seeks to establish the first steps needed to begin implementing the global action plan. The meeting has been convened on the Island of La Reunion from 10-13 June 2014 by GCP21 in collaboration with the Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) and Research Institute for Development (IRD).