See more from this Session: Breeding for Tolerance to Abiotic Stress
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Breeding for high micronutrient content cassava in Nigeria C. N. Egesi1*, P. Ilona2, E. Okogbenin1, B. Maziya-Dixon2, S. Njoku1, B. Olasanmi1, I. Ndukwe1, P. Kulakow2 and A. Dixon2 1National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, PMB 7006, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria; 2International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Oyo Road, PMB 5320, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria *Corresponding author, E-mail: email@example.com. Abstract Cassava is an energy rich food crop that has some major nutritional drawbacks as they contain low levels of essential micronutrients. Micronutrient malnutrition is widespread in Nigeria. Recent surveys show that a third of Nigerian children under 5 are deficient in pro-vitamin A (beta carotene) while a quarter of the same group are deficient in iron contents. Both micronutrients are essential in the intellectual development, sight and general well-being. Agriculture has been seen as an instrument to improve public health by using the food systems approach to deliver more nutritious staple food to resource-poor consumers. In our approach we considered breeding cassava that is rich in micronutrients, a process known as biofortification. We present results of multi-environment trials with high carotene content cassava and progress being made at NRCRI, Umudike with enhancing the nutritional status of cassava. The relationship between key agronomic traits and carotene content were determined.