A woman harvests cassava tubers in a village in Mengong town of the South region, Cameroon, Nov. 16, 2022. (Photo by Kepseu/Xinhua)
SANYA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese agronomists said they plan to boost the cultivation of better-quality cassava varieties in Africa, which relies on the starchy tubers as a major source of food.
The Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) said in an action plan that it plans to adopt new cassava varieties and advanced farming techniques for over 500,000 hectares of land in African countries.
The improved varieties and techniques are expected to raise the yield of the root crops above 17 tonnes per hectare, said Xie Jianghui, vice head of the CATAS.
The plan was announced to warm applause at the 2nd Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture, which concluded on Wednesday in the city of Sanya in south China's Hainan Province.
Xie said the institute will help countries including Nigeria, Mozambique and the Republic of the Congo breed better varieties, improve cultivation techniques and raise the level of mechanization on cassava farms.
It will also build agriculture demonstration centers to promote commercialization and large-scale production in major cassava-producing countries.
Starch-rich cassava provides food for more than 200 million people in Africa and is an important food security crop for the continent long plagued by hunger and malnutrition.