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Cuba is home to one of the world's most important viand, plantain, and banana germplasm banks

The National Institute for Tropical Viand Research (Inivit), which belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) of Cuba, has been dedicated for more than 45 years to the research, development, and production of seeds of tropical viands. This center is also responsible for the conservation, expansion, and characterization of the phytogenetic resources of plantain, banana, root, rhizome, tropical tuber, squash, vegetable, and grain species.

Inivit currently has the most important germplasm bank for plantains and bananas in Latin America, with a total of 352 varieties, according to Sergio Rodriguez Morales, the director of the prestigious scientific institution.

It also has 250 taro clones, 840 sweet potato clones, 500 cassava clones, and 103 yam clones, he added. These banks contain the genes to work for the improvement of these crops, to look for varieties that can produce higher yields and qualities, as well as their ability to mitigate the impact of climate change.

To get an idea of the importance of Inivit's work, it is enough to indicate that more than 80% of the sweet potato and Burro-type banana planted in Cuba, and 60% of the yucca, are obtained from varieties obtained in this center, Rodriguez Morales stated.

The entity has received multiple recognitions, including the National Award for Technological Innovation related to the impact of the generalization of the Inivit P-2007 cucumber in Cuba, which had great repercussions in the country and the world.

 

Source: granma.cu


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