Bill & Melinda Gates boost Tanzanian food security efforts

For a while now, Tanzania has been trying to increase its food security by having improved varieties of cassava. These efforts now have received a major boost of 35 million US dollars in new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UK aid from the United Kingdom.

According to a statement, New York State Cornell University will expand its international efforts to deliver improved varieties of cassava to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

“This grant funds a second five-year phase that will allow us to build on previous work and focus on getting improved varieties into farmers’ fields,” said Ronnie Coffman, international plant breeder and director of Cornell’s International Programmes in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. reports how during Phase 1 of the Next Generation Cassava Breeding project - also funded by the Gates Foundation and UK aid from 2012 to 2017 - researchers shortened the breeding cycle for new cassava varieties by improving flowering and using genomic selection.

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