Cassava Agribusiness Seed Systems (CASS)

The Cassava Agribusiness Seeds System (CASS) project is operating in Rwanda and Burundi, to enable agribusiness development for scaling quality cassava seed systems for control of major viral diseases in cassava. CASS project is part of a wider effort to fight Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) and Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD), the most dangerous viral diseases that affect cassava productivity in Rwanda. It builds on the on-going initiatives under the IFAD funded CBSD Control Project, that is focusing on the improved genetic diversity for CBSD/CMD dual resistance as well as establishing systems, policy and capacities for early generation seed production in Rwanda. Through this project, International Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), SPARK (an NGO focusing and nurturing business among youth and women) and Wageningen University to produce and distribute improved cassava varieties with strong resistance to CBSD and CMD, evaluated for diverse end user-preferences in Rwanda. It will principally focus on developing, testing and identifying viable agribusiness models to deliver quality cassava seeds of improved varieties with preferred end- users in Burundi and Rwanda. The key impacts of the project will include control of cassava viral diseases resulting into higher on-farm root yields, food security and incomes. The specific objectives are: i) to diversify the availability of cassava varieties with strong resistance or tolerance to CBSD and CMD that meet farmer and commercial end-user preferences; ii) to develop, test and tailor different types of CASS models (i.e. government-led, private-sector- led, and cooperative-led) with and for different groups of farmers; and iii) to understand and respond to constraints and opportunities at farmer and institutional levels for upscaling CASS models in collaboration with different cassava value chain actors.   Furthermore, this partnership also helps in sustainability of the project activities and is essential for scaling-up the project’s outcomes to ensure impact beyond project’s direct zone of influence and beneficiaries. RAB provides technical training to seed multipliers at different stages of the seed value chain on best production and disease management practices, and facilitates interactions with the national cassava programs. In the course of the project, RAB and IITA will also ensure availability of clean pre-basic cassava seeds as the first category for the functional commercialized seeds system in Rwanda. One MSc study opportunity is available in the project for Rwanda. Project Essentials Countries: Rwanda and Burundi Lead organization: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Main partner in Rwanda: Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), Wageningen University and SPARK


Silver Tumwegamire

Project duration

Start: 01 April 2019
End: 31 March 2022

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