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7.7.1 Priorities for cassava research

Priorities for cassava research have been developed by the National Agricultural Research Organization (Table 7). This has been based on the country's national objectives and weighted criteria methodology and are reviewed periodically. Currently, because of its importance as a staple and food security crop, cassava is among the high priority crop research commodities in NARO (Table 7). Constraints receiving high priority consideration are cassava mosaic disease, bacterial blight, mealybug, green spider mite, lack of improved varieties and their planting materials, post-harvest systems, weeds and lack of suitable cropping systems (Table 8).

Table 7. Priority ranking of crop commodities by group for each region

CommodityRegion 1Region 11NationalPriority ranking
Banana plantain5.547.456.501
1. Maize7.357.677.511
2. Millet7.635.856.741
3. Sorghum7.585.726.651
4. Rice6.205.595.892
5. Wheat5.275.455.363
6. Barley5.075.235.153
Root tubers    
1. Cassava7.356.977.161
2. Sweet Potato7.106.676.891
3. Irish Potato4.935.925.422
4. Yamsns4.324.323
Oil Crops    
1. Groundnuts8.357.157.751
2. Sesame7.676.006.841
3. Soybean6.466.456.462
4. Sunflower6.235.625.93 
5. Indus. Oil Cropns4.624.623
Grain Legumes    
1. Beans7.137.777.451
2. Cowpea6.985.366.172
3. Pigeon peas6.395.015.70 
4. Gram5.834.775.303
5. Field peas5.025.545.283
Cash Crops    
1. Cotton7.386.476.931
2. Robusta Coffee5.517.396.451
3. Arabica Coffee6.185.996.091
4. Sugarcane6.066.356.202
5. Tea5.276.585.932
6. Tobacco5.985.755.862
7. Cocoa4.775.535.153
8. Cashewnut5.434.615.021

Priority: 1 g high priority;
2 g medium priority; and
3 g low priority
Region: Region 1 g eastern and northern regions, Region 2 g central and western regions

Table 8. Cassava production constraints and their scores and priority rankings

Nature of constraintConstraint name scorePriority rank 
Diseases of cassavaAfrican cassava mosaic2.381
 Root rot2.052
 Bacterial blight2.042
 Cercospora leaf spot1.823
Pests of cassavaCassava micalybug2.391
 Green spider mite2.181
 Rodents (mole rats)1.962
 Grass hopper1.793
Post-harvest/food technologyStorage systems2.221
 Storage pests2.201
 Diversification of products2.151
 Lack of processing technology2.121
Varietal improvementPoor quality seeds2.431
(for all roots and tubers)Lack of low altitude2.211
 Lack of improved varieties (Irish potato)2.201
 Genetic erosion of local germplasm  
 (sweet potato and cassava)2.042
Crop managementWeeds2.281
(for all roots and tubers)Plant population2.291
 Lack of suitable cropping2.181
 systems (crop mixture)  
Low of soil productivityNutrient deficiency2.211
Socioeconomics (for all roots g tubers)Poor marketing2.182
 Labour shortage2.092
Agricultural engineeringLack of animal-drawn implements2.002
 Lack of improved hand tools1.922

7.7.2 Cassava research programme goal and objectives of the programme

The goal of the programme is to supply adequate food and raw materials, stimulate production for export in order to raise income and improve quality of rural life while conserving the natural resource base. The broad objective is to develop and disseminate improved cassava technologies to farmers. Specific objectives include:

Objective 1: To develop high yielding mosaic and mealybug resistant cassava varieties which meet requirements of consumers (sweet taste, mealyness, etc.) in different agro-ecologies.

Objective 2 To develop ecologically sustainable methods of controlling important pests and diseases such as cassava mealybug (CM), green spider mite (CGM), weeds, African cassava mosaic disease (ACMD), bacterial blight (CBB) and anthracnose (CAD).

Objective 3 : To develop improved crop management practices which are within the means of resource poor farmers.

Objective 4 : To develop improved production practices and methods of storing, processing and utilizing cassava roots so as to improve the commercial value of the crop.

Objective 5 : To accelerate the transfer of improved cassava production and utilization of cassava through closer linkage and training of extension staff and farmers.

7.7.3 Human resource capacity

The programme consists of an interdisciplinary team of breeders (2); agronomists (1); plant pathologists (1); plant virologist (1); entomologist (2); food scientist (1); socio-economists (2); and biotechnologist (tissue culture) (1). It collaborates effectively with scientists from other programmes within and outside the institute on a regular basis. Research projects conducted by the programme in 1996–97 are shown in Appendix 2. The achievements are summarized in Tables 9–12.

Table 9. Achievements of the Cassava programme in generation and transfer of improved technologies

ConstraintsTechnology generatedTechnology transferredTechnology adopted
African Cassava Mosaic Disease (ACMD)Nase 1, Nase 2 and Migyera resistant varieties Messed; rouging; Selection of clean planting materialsNut 1, Nut 2 and Migyera varieties. Rouging planting materialsNase 1, Nase 2 and Migyera; & election of planting materials, rouging
Cassava mealybugUse of natural enemy (Epidinocarstlopezi)E. lopezi released in 10 selected districtsE. lopezi successfully established and CM g maintained below damage threshold Revel
Cassava green miteTimely planting in relation to seasonal pest population dynamics. Use of natural enemy resistant varietiesNase 1. Migyers; 7: aripo screened; mass reared and released,, costly planting emphasizedResistant varieties; l'aripo well established
Nanow genetic div cosily at farm levelFifteen resistant varieties developed and or screenedAs generatedNase 1, Nest 2 and Migyera released; while SS4 and SS8 are recommended for release
Poor and inappropriate agronomy practicesImproved intercropping systems; slanting scheduled; weed control packages, spacing for production and stem multiplicationSpacing (ion a 1 m)Adoption level not known
Tack of adequate planting materialsMultiply and distribute adequate slanting materials through the NANEC systemsOver 70 000 ha of mosaic resistant varieties multiplied and distributed to most districtsAH distributed planting materials of all varieties adopted. Demand for stems still very high
Inherent nutritional limitation aggravated by marrow base to handle and processRelease of food culture specific varieties; improved cyanide reduction methods; improved sun-drying; improved heap fermentation, Gari From W. Africa. Flotilla from S, AmericanFood culture specific varieties, cyanide reduction methods; improved sun-drying and heap fermentation; GadKnowledge on adoption level on cyanide method, sun-drying, heap fermentation and Gad making not available
Narrow utilization base and limited product development33 cassava recipes developedRecipes demonstrated, recipe booklet prepared and distributedAdoption level not known
Poor storage technologies3 months fresh storage technology developedTechnology tested in selected urban marketsAdoption level not known
g Limited utilization of cassava in the one percent stock sectorSnipping cassava leaf (or foliage establishmentNilNil

Table 10. Number of on-farm trials on cassava conducted by the National Root Crops Programme in the six Gatsby and nine other districts of Uganda during the cropping

Apac  1612   28
Kibaale  241286454
Lira 9166 5541
Masindi 122424166486
Mpigi 122416166579
Other gs        
Arua  128   20
Hoima  128   20
Iganga  128   20
Kasese  128   20
Masaka  128   20
Mubende  128   20
Mukono     6511
Soroti     6511

Table 11. Technology generation new cassava varieties developed

VarietyMaturity period (months)Yield (tonnes/ha)ACMD resistance
Released varieties   
Nase 12–1425Resistant/ tolerant
Nase 212–1540Moderately resistant
Nase 3 (Migyera)10–1245Resistant/tolerant
Awaiting Release   
TMS 4(2)142510–1235Moderately resistant
8911988-2 UYT/PDB10–1230Resistant/tolerant
Migyera 8110–1225Resistant/tolerant
Migyera 1610–1230Resistant/tolerant

Table 12. Estimated area of improved cassava varieties (ha) established in the six Gatsby and seventeen other districts of Uganda between 1991–1992 and 1995–1996

Gatsby supported      
Apac 3411949441 182
Lira4392131 3278 1959 779
Luwero021941 1266 078740
Masindi8503051 85711 14313 363
Mpigi969438261414 49017819
Sub total2216311927 12841 10949 614
Arua161297752 1715 861895
Gulu219995933 4714 184
Kumi590 15424 164635
Mayo5311821 0956 5757 888
Mukono<1 1165394472
Nebbi <1163643
Pallisa 221137823993
Rukungiri 422130778932
Soroti1271657895 9526 934
Tororo001 7591
Subtotal303111 8796 86729 4103 840
Total524742 891 70 51989 111

1. All figures rounded off to nearest whole number
2. See Tables 6 and 7 for detailed breakdown by variety
3. Areas presented indicate total area (ha) under improved varieties i.e. project controlled and self-diffused materials

Table 13 Survey data (ha) for 23 participating and 19 non-participating subcounties in the six Gatsby districts: 1996

DistrictCultivated area sampledSampled area under cassavaSampled area under improved cassavaArea under cassava as of cultivated areaArea under improved cassava as total cultivated areaArea under improved cassava as total cassava area
Participating subcounties of      
Mpigi (3)47.721.99.3461942 69
Luweru (5)158.781.956.7523852
Masindi (4)132.187.845.7663536
Lira (4)75.030.310.9401562
Apac (4)219.395.659.5442749
Kibaale (3)63,215,57.62512 
Subtotal (23)695.1333.0189.7   
Meaty per subcounty30.214.58.2482757
Non-participating subcounties of      
Mpigi (1)8.93.2036033
Luweru (4)140.949.016.2351124
Masindi (3)175.360.314.234810
Lira (6)133.559,26.044416
Apac (3)96,846.97.748 8
Kibaale (2)49.810.60.8212 
Subtotal (19)605.2229.244.9 720
Mean per subcounty31.912.12.438  
Total (42) (Mean)1 300.3562.2234.6(43)(18)(42)

Table 14. Number of Extension Staff, Opinion Leaders and Farmers trained in the six Gatsby (G) and three other
districts of Uganda 1991–1996

Finees 5Lira (G)Luwero(G)Masindi(G)Mpigg(G)Apac (G)Kibaale (G)M# GatsbyKumiSorotiPallisaGrand Total
 36238079234£0529>1 189>65>50>47>1 351
Opinion leaders           
Total>130>522>939>197>106?>1894>20??>1 914
1991/92756303708113??g l 880???>1880
1992/931 1192451 622179128?>3 293???>3 293
1993/941 22735732624378?>2 231???>2 231
1994/959772 36125616260283 844283131?>4 258
1995/964731.267102383560253 683306112894613
Total4 5524 5323 9351 532>326>53>14 931>313>742>289>16 275

Table 15: Cassava constraints, technology application gaps and possible solutions to bridge gaps and envisaged holders involvement

ConstraintsTechnology application gapSolution to bridge gapEnvisaged holders involvement
African Cassava
Mosaic Disease
Limited awareness of the benefits accruing from proposed technologies at farm level; socioeconomic application implications, lack and/or inactive government policy on disease/pest controlStrengthen training and sensitization of all actors; avail resistant planting materials; enact and revitalize government policy on disease/pest control; strengthen research capacity on virus diseases; train in area of biotechnologyFarmers, extension, researchers, policy-makers, donors
Mealybug (CM)
Lack of farmer awareness leading to chemical application in intercropping systems jeopardizing released natural enemiesSocioeconomic studies to identify and document farmers attitude towards use of natural enemiesFarmers, excursionists, researchers and policy-makers
Cassava Green
Mite (CGM)
Farmers' perception to the potential of T. aripo awaits capturing; variance in farmers' labour profile from the recommended lime schedulesTechnology testing at farmer level; further screening of clones for resistanceFarmer extensionists, researchers
Narrow genetic baseLimited multiplication and distribution in place; lack of facilities to handle wide generic baseAdequate financial support for multiplication and distribution; strengthen biotechnology facilities and personnel skillsFarmers, extensionists, researchers, donors, policy-makers and training institutions
Poor and inappropriate agronomic practicesLimited knowledge and labour intensive; high cost; inadequate extension information due to thin field g lack of product quantity control on the market, unavailability of inputs (herbicides)Demonstration of benefits, five researchers; boost field staff; socioeconomic audios on the technologies, actors sensitization campaigns; strengthen product quality control mechanisms and standards; streamline and support the local input supply sector(s)Farmers, extensionists. researchers, donors, policy-makers bureau of standard chemical companies
Inherent nutritional limitationAppropriate promising cyanide reduction method percent await farmers' verdict on on-farm inadequate funds to facilitate testing of technologiesCost-effectiveness of cyanide reduction methods, modification of processing prototypes and support; farmers' sensitization on cassava health related hazardsExtensionists, farmers, researchers, donors, health institution, international research centres
Narrow utilizationLack of awareness; limited funds to promote small-scale manufacturesFarmer processors sensitization and training; product development and demonstration.Farmers, extensionists. researchers, donors, processing industries, food science institutions relevant international research centres



Changes in development models adopted to aim at achieving government agricultural objectives to eradicate poverty through supply of adequate and balanced food in all parts of the country; to supply raw materials for local industries (import substitution); stimulate production for export and raise income and improve quality of rural life while conserving the natural resource base. Although the colonial development models aimed to achieve all the above, it emphasized more the supply of raw materials for industries abroad and to stimulate production for export. Consequently, food crops such as cassava received very little attention. The post independence period of the 1960s adopted a socialist policy of “The Move to the Left and the Common Man's Charter”. Although this favoured the “common person”, it was unpopular among elites; it discouraged investment, resulted in a military coup and greatly affected the economy. The Amin's economic war policy of the 1970s which expelled the Asian business community and foreigners brought the economy to its knees and halted development in all sectors including food production. The 1980s and 1990s policies of rehabilitation of the economy, trade and price liberalization, privatization benefited food production.

However, since the implementation of the Economic Recovery Programme in 1987, the Government of Uganda has achieved unequal results (EPAU, 1996). Significant progress has been achieved in restoring internal and external stability through improved fiscal and monetary performance. However, the distribution of the benefit of growth has not yet significantly contributed to eradicate poverty and increase the standard of rural life.

Notwithstanding, Uganda is generally a food surplus country with high export potential. Hence, with an effective implementation of the integrated development model and national food strategy, not only can Uganda eradicate food insecurity at household level but also enhance food security in the region and some other chronic food deficit countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Studies (COSCA Uganda, 1996; EPAU, 1996) show that although cassava provides substantial income to rural farmers, perishability, bulkiness, low utilization base and limited village markets hinder commercialization and profitability of the crop. Although the potential for an export market exists, this is not being utilized due to the lack of a well organized cassava export marketing system. However, the current government policy of trade liberalization and promotion of non-traditional exports has improved prices and stimulated interest in production and export of cassava and cassava products.


The poor state of the economy during the 1970s affected the supply of agricultural inputs to farmers. This resulted in the decline of the quality and quantity of agricultural production. With the improvements in the economy since the 1980s, the Government increasingly invested in the provision of inputs to farmers through a number of projects. This has had a positive impact on the production of both cash and food crops including cassava. However, the continued supply of subsidized inputs to farmers could have a long-term negative effects as well. Consequently, the Government has divested itself from this activity and left it to the private sector.


In Uganda cassava is principally stored in the ground and harvested as and when needed. In cases when chips are produced, farm storage is inadequate, poorly constructed and unsafe. Modern storage techniques for cassava are yet to be developed. Government investment in improvement of storage infrastructure has been geared to storage of grains and not products such as cassava. Although such facilities could be used for storage of chips and cassava flour, they are inadequate, located only in major towns such as Kampala, Jinja, etc. and do not meet the interests of cassava farmers and traders.


The deterioration of the economy, characteristics of the 1970s, resulted in deterioration of both trunk and feeder roads in the country. Although this has been a great hindrance to agricultural production, food security and export diversification, it also greatly affected cassava production and marketing. Current government efforts in rehabilitation of trunk, rural and feeder roads have improved accessibility to inputs and markets with the resultant reduction in costs and improvements in earnings. Although the road rehabilitation has progressed well, vast rural areas which are always the main cassava producers are still inaccessible and will take time before most cassava farmers harvest the full benefit of this programme.


The LSF purchased cassava from farmers, produced and exported quality starch and by products. This factory provided markets for farmers' produce and greatly stimulated production and commercial value of cassava. The collapse of the factory since the mid 1980s left farmers frustrated with their produce and seriously affected production.


The early days of the agricultural research infrastructure in Uganda and East Africa were sharply focused, well organized and well managed. Consequently, it developed a number of technologies which were effectively transferred and had major impact on the agricultural development of the country. Early research on cassava successfully developed and disseminated improved varieties (Bukalasa 8, 11, etc.), agronomic practices and appropriate methods for controlling major pests and diseases of the crop. Consequently the major impact of this was the successful control of cassava mosaic epidemic which ravaged cassava in eastern and northern Uganda during the 1930s-1940s. The research suffered major setbacks in the 1970s and 1980s and as a result very little work was done. The technologies generated out of this work were either inappropriate or were not transferred to clients. Consequently little impact was made.

With the creation of NARO, research gained new impetus. The research was reorganized and redirected to make it more responsive to national needs. Priorities for commodity research and constraints within commodities were developed based on national economic objectives and the needs of clients. Funds were injected to the system and staff were motivated with the concomitant improvement in the vigour of research. By 1997, a lot of research projects were either completed or being carried out in crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry sectors, respectively. Many of the technologies generated were either transferred or being transferred and the overall future of research looked promising.


The agricultural extension service was well organized, effective and efficient before the 1970s and made impressive impacts on transferring technologies and educating farmers. The system almost grounded to a halt until the 1980s when attempts were made to restructure it and improve its performance. Substantial injection of funds and other resources have since been made but this is still inadequate and the service is still ineffective although some positive outcomes are beginning to emerge.


Improvements in the research infrastructure as a result of the creation of NARO, resulted in a concomitant improvement in cassava research and development. During the colonial period and until the 1980s little attention and funding was given to cassava research. In addition, the research did not adequately address key concerns of clients. The end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s saw invigorated client-oriented cassava research from which a number of technologies were developed, transferred to clients and adopted. A brief summary of the progress achieved includes continuous development of high yielding disease and pest resistant variety comprehensive studies aimed at fully understanding the epidemiology and control of the severe cassava mosaic disease epidemic in the country and ecology and control of its whitefly sector; development of integrated management strategies for the mosaic epidemic, other diseases and pests; successful biological control of the cassava mealybug and some progress of biological control of the cassava green spider mite; development of improved agronomic and other crop management practices and improved traditional methods of processing bitter cassava. Most of the technologies have successfully been transferred, adopted and impacts are beginning to emerge. An outline of this is provided (Table 9).

On average, all the improved cassava varieties out yielded the local ones (Figure 5). The performance of the new Uganda selection SS4 was outstanding among the improved varieties and had a fourfold yield advantage over the local one. The area under improved cassava varieties has been generally increasing since 1991. The proportion of cultivated land that was planted to the new varieties was up to 78 percent (mean 57 percent) in the subcounties which participated in the technology transfer project and up to 40 percent (mean 20 percent) elsewhere. There was considerable diffusion of the new varieties in areas which did not participate in the project (Table 13). Generally, the steady increase in the area under improved varieties in the selected districts indicates the adoption and impact of the improved varieties. In many of the districts such as Luwero, Masindi, Lira and Kumi, resistant varieties were accepted from the outset and the adoption rate was consistently higher each year (Figure 6). This was because the improved varieties addressed farmers' major production constraints which indicates that the strategy adopted in the generation and transfer of the technologies were appropriate.

Training provided a visible indication of an increase in the level of advice provided and farmers' knowledge as a result of contact with research and extension agents. By 1995, there was greater awareness than before among the extension agents, opinion leaders and farmers of the ways in which ACMD spreads and its control. The collaboration of the local staff, NGOs and research as a training component of the cassava multiplication and distribution strategy resulted in training of most of the extension agents in each of the project districts between 1992 to 1995 (Table 14).


Investing in agriculture in Uganda seems to bring to bear self-evident comparative advantage. It is clear that, given the lower capital-output ratio for agricultural development, ceteris parabus, the more Uganda invests in agriculture instead of other sectors, the higher the resulting increase in total output.

Based on the principle of comparative advantage and the pattern of resource endowment, Uganda's agriculture through food production development, should easily be able to feed the population. Cassava has the attributes in contributing to this development strategy. Compared to other crops, cassava thrives well under mar-environments, it is flexible in farming and food systems and when processed it has wide utilization and industrial use.

With this comparative advantage cassava has over other food crops, it has been possible to achieve enormous area expansion under the crop coupled with increased yields even in stressed environments and limited labour conditions. However, this attribute of the crop has been overshadowed with the infection by African cassava mosaic virus since 1988. With the development and release of resistant/tolerant varieties, this constraint is becoming overcome so as to exploit full potential of the crop, a source of food security in Uganda.


With proper technology, access to information, agricultural inputs and credits and effective policy guidance, production development and exports of cassava and other competing crops can become a most viable economic activity and provide substantial income earnings for the farmers (Table 16). Production development in food crops and particularly cassava can contribute both in food security at household and national levels and generate higher income for households with the use of improved varieties.

Table 16 further indicates that cassava competes favourably with other substitute crops both as local and improved varieties with the highest return per person-day of US$4.38 when improved variety is used.

Figure 5. Yield of the improved and local varieties, 1995

Figure 5
Figure 5

Figure 6. Adoption level by non-participating farmers of improved varieties in the six selected districts 1993–1995

Figure 6

Table 16: Gross margin and returns to family labour for cassava and competing crops (May 1991)

CropsKg/HaKgShsShs/AaShs/Ha US$/HaPd/HaShs/ Person- dayUS$/Person-day
h Matooke-LOC9 00044 1; 5 000220 000185 000 209.04310596.8 80.67
Matooke IMP15 00045675 000220 000455 000 514.123101 467.71.66
Maize LOC2 00060120 00079 31340 687 45.97122333.50.38
Maize IMPI60180 00079 313100 687 113.7712282.5.30.93
Cassava LOC9 000-10300 00095 183264 817 299.2318214 5 5.01.64
Cassava IMP20 00040800 00095 183704 817 796.401823 872.64.38
Spotato LOV4 00030120 00054 62865 372 73.87110594.30.67
Spotato IMP1 200.11)360 00054 628305 372 345.051102 776.13.14
Lmiller LOC1 5001–10180 00051 218128 782 145.52167771.20.87
Lmiller IMP2 400120288 00051 218236. 82 267.551671 417.91.6
Sarghum LOC1 600100160 00051 787108 213 122.28160670.30.76
Sarghum IMP2 500100250 00051 787198 213 223.971601 238.80.1
Rice LOC1 750210367 50062 762304 738 344.34307992.61.12
Rice IMP2 500210525 00062 762462 238 522.303071 505.711.7

1 Price in rice equivalent (conversion to milled while rice is 60 percent); 21 Converted to US$ at an exchange rate of Ush. 885
LOC = Local; and
IMP Improved

The gross margin and rate of return of improved cassava varieties shows the comparative advantage of the crop. This implies that the contribution of improved varieties on cassava production appears to be very attractive. This is revealed in the highest return to family labour considering labour as one of the most limiting production factors.

Generally, production of improved root crops (cassava and sweet potato) are more profitable at household level and if exported the value would be substantial.


The growth strategy that advances increase in cassava production should occur within bounds set by acceptable levels of environmental impact, self determination and equity. Uganda has been pursuing research and development strategy that increased the production of cassava in the context of sustainable use of natural resources (land in particular), ability of local communities to participate in and direct the development process and provide the largest number of employment opportunities possible to the rural poor.

In pursuit of this strategy to increase cassava production through expansion of cultivated area, a conscious approach has been adopted by Uganda to avoid the mining of poor soils and devastation of natural vegetation through intercropping and crop rotation. This requires a balanced production-processing-marketing structure and the use of smallholder outgrower production schemes aside large-scale farming.

Meanwhile, one untapped source of agricultural growth to meet Uganda's food security needs and food exports development may arise from the bias against women in the economic sphere in general and in particular in agriculture.

For example, Ugandan women provide about 70 percent of the agricultural labour force, are responsible for 7 080 percent of food crops and more than 50 percent of cash crop production and virtually all food processing (COSCA, 1996 and EPAU, 1996). Despite their large contribution, women have been playing these roles in the face of enormous social, cultural and economic strains.

In the marketing of cassava, only about 40 percent of women participate yet they contribute to over 80 percent in the production of the crop. This serves as a disincentive to their active participation in the promotion of cassava development in the country.

Women's ability to produce food, therefore, can be enhanced by improving their access to land, credit, technology and information. On the realization of the women's role in cassava production, the Uganda cassava programme has involved women in testing and utilization of the cassava technologies. Women's literacy training and information access to cassava production has been a major preoccupation of the programme. This served as a stimulus and impetus in cassava production in the country.

Hence, a coordinated approach has been adopted by Uganda in improving cassava production the impact of which has been significant on the equitable distribution of resources, female participation in the research and development process and sustainable environment protection.



Government policies and infrastructures should be supportive of cassava research and development. Cassava scientists and friends will continue to lobby and produce documents with the aim of influencing members of the Agricultural Secretariat of the Bank of Uganda, the Agricultural Policy Committee of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and Agricultural Sectorial Committee of Parliament, about the importance and potential of cassava in the national food security, as a raw material in industries and as an export commodity.

As for any other crops in the economy, investments in rural and trunk roads and provision of agricultural inputs to farmers will always result in improvements in cassava production and marketing. Government already has this high on its agenda. Agricultural inputs are now the sole responsibility of the private sector and are well stocked in shops by traders. To summarize, an integrated strategic approach for policy decision-making would be required to maximize impact of government development models and strategies.

Consequently, policy formulation, goals and resource allocation to proper priority areas should aim at maximizing the impact of a government development strategy. This implies that in order to achieve the objective of increasing income and raising the living standard of the people, allocation of resources should be directed in priority areas to support agriculture-led growth, food production development and food exports.

Furthermore, policy reforms under structured adjustment programmes need to promote an economic environment where the private sector can be motivated to expand. Hence serving as a requirement for private sector development in a market economy.

Consequently, Uganda should design and implement an effective development strategy giving priority to agriculture and food production in a liberalized economy and an enlarged market for food crops based on its comparative advantage and maximize use of its available resources.

Finally, policy-makers should increase women's ability to generate income in order to maximize the benefits of women's incomes for household food security and nutrition. Most importantly, the Government should give highest priority to the enactment of legislation establishing measures that protect and enhance the rights of women to equal opportunities in development (EPAU, 1996).


With the increasing drought in the country and the region as a whole, cassava will increasingly continue to be more important both as a staple and cash crop. Consequently, for rapid development of cassava, increased funding, adequate and capable human and other resources are a must. The Programme will advise and urge administrators and policy-makers to continue to solicit local and external funding for cassava research and development including continued development of human resource capacity and motivation.


Commercialization of cassava will require improved processing, product diversification and marketing both locally and abroad. The post-harvest research programme and the Food Science Research Institute should continue to develop improved processing methods and new products from cassava which can attract investments from entrepreneurs. The Uganda Export Promotion Council and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industries should seek and secure cassava markets abroad and entice potential businesspersons accordingly. The Ministry of Trade and Industries and the Uganda Investment Authority should encourage investors to rehabilitate the LSF and to erect new ones and other similar factories in order to create or improve domestic markets.

As production increases, in ground storability will become inadequate thus necessitating improved cassava storage infrastructures at all levels. The Cassava Programme and the Post-harvest Research Programme will aim to develop simple fresh root storage technologies and technologies for drying of cassava chips for use at the farm levels and in urban markets. As the volume in cassava trade picks up, Government should make it a policy for traders and investor, to construct simple storage structures for dry cassava chips and flour.


Investment in agricultural research infrastructure including human resource development and motivation, marking research more responsive to national objectives and the need of clients and prioritization of constraints will result in an efficient research system which develops and transfers technologies that will have greater uptake, make positive contribution to production and generate quick impact from research efforts. With the establishment of NARO, this issue has been well addressed and the system should continuously be reviewed and improved.


9.5.1 Methodology for technology assessment

Future strategies for technology assessment should involve clear understanding of the possible solution for each constraint, gaps in technology to be applied and clear identification of stakeholders to be involved in each case. Finally, possible technologies should be assessed on the basis of clear understanding and use of indigenous knowledge and technology application gaps as outlined in Table 15. Promising technologies will be evaluated in locations and on-farm trials in different agro-ecological regions. Where possible farmer participatory research will be used.

9.5.2 Integrated strategy for development, multiplication and distribution of planting materials of improved varieties

Another major constraint in cassava production is the lack of improved varieties and suitable planting materials. In order to address this problem, an integrated strategy for multiplication and distribution of planting material of improved varieties would be developed based on data obtained from biological and socioeconomic studies conducted since 1990. The integrated multiplication strategy would be designed to screen and generate clean, disease and pest resistant cassava varieties. This will involve a series of activities in which the Cassava Programme has the responsibility to assemble germplasm from National Agricultural Research Systems, International Agricultural Research Centres and from local sources (Figure 7). These materials would be incorporated in the breeding programme which aims at developing elite genotypes resistant to important pests and diseases such as the African cassava mosaic disease. Furthermore, the Cassava Programme will link up with extension agents, local leaders and NGOs by way of training and conducting OFT. This is aimed at perfecting the genotypes performances at farm level.

The cassava genotypes accepted by farmers will enter into nucleus and institutional multiplication stages. The materials at these stages are rouged to ensure that clean planting materials are distributed to farming groups (especially women groups) and to individual large farmers. Training and rouging of diseased plants will be conducted at all stages of multiplication so as to create awareness of the production of disease-free planting materials for the resource poor farmers who grow cassava in small quantities. Roughing is particularly conducted to supplement resistance of the genotypes to ACMD and other diseases. Generally, in order to multiply and distribute clean planting material, all key players in the development, transfer and adoption of cassava genotypes will be well integrated. This offers a feed back on the performance of each genotype at any stage of development and multiplication so as to determine what quantity of each genotype should be multiplied in a particular infection pressure area in the country. Three approaches for multiplication (at institutional farms, by women groups and by individual farmers) of planting materials of improved varieties would be used. Experienced gained indicates which approach would be suitable for particular circumstances as discussed by Otim-Nape et al. (1995).

9.5.3 Eliminating constraints to adoption of cassava technologies

Establishment of a strong research-extension linkage through a national network of cassava workers (NANEC). For rapid transfer, adoption and impact of research technologies, such technologies must be developed with the full understanding of clients' needs; should answer such needs and have closer linkage and participation of all stakeholders. To achieve this, an efficient and effective research and extension linkage is necessary. Experience has indicated that a major constraint of the extension service was that the district staff was ill-motivated and poorly equipped. The staff lacked transport and knowledge to perform its duties effectively and did not have the confidence to approach farmers. Tackling the issue of technology transfer would therefore necessitate first addressing the problem of extension personnel in targeted areas. The agricultural officers in charge of districts, district plant protection officers and subject matter specialists would periodically participate in a one to two week training workshop on cassava. The workshop would aim to sensitize the officers and instruct them on improved cassava production, pest and disease control methods and technologies for rapid multiplication of planting material of improved varieties.

A NANEC team comprising the district cassava subject matter specialists (district coordinator) and cassava officers (subcounty coordinators) in charge of subcounties per district and the District Agricultural Officers (DAO) would be formed. Each district team would be responsible for training other extension staff, chiefs, opinion leaders and farmers in the district. They would also be responsible for conducting on-farm trials and for multiplying and distributing planting material of varieties preferred by farmers. Their activities would be planned and closely supervised by scientists from the Cassava Programme. The team leader of the Cassava Programme provides the overall supervision and coordination. The NGOs active on cassava in the district would be a part of this team. Annual workshops will be organized at appropriate locations, for the district cassava coordinators who will review progress, plan for the next season and update knowledge on improved technologies for cassava production and utilization. A proposed flow diagram for this network is shown in Figure 8.

The network would involve all components such as the national agricultural research systems, cassava scientists, NGOs, extensionists and farmers required in technology generation, dissemination and adoption. They work in a multi-disciplinary manner and operate in a balanced and check fashion. In his coordinating role, the Director-General would foster close linkages with the director of research institutes such as Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute (NAARI) and the programmes within this institute. This linkage provides a forum for research planning in which technical and non-technical (policy) issues related to cassava and other commodities are prioritized based on national interest and resource available in the research sector. The cassava promotes horizontal linkages with other commodity programmes and collaborates with extension staff and non-governmental organizations (NGO) in planning, training and conducting on-farm trials and in multiplication of planting materials and other relevant technologies.

The cassava staff will train extension staff and NGOs who in turn train other extension staff and farmers. Farmers would be involved in on-farm trials for purposes of validation of the technologies appropriate to their natural and socioeconomic: environments. Field days will draw together all the stakeholders to review the performance of the technologies tested and where necessary improvements and recommendations made. Multiplication of the accepted cassava genotypes by farmers will be initiated here.

The network would play a key role in the dissemination of new information and technologies to clients and in providing feedback to scientists, administrators and policy-makers. It would stimulate and strengthen close linkage between policy-makers, researchers, extensionists and farmers through planning and setting priorities for research, training of other extension staff and farmers; developing and disseminating appropriate and sustainable technologies for cassava.


In order to implement the proposed strategies, efforts will be made to mobilize financial and other resources from friendly donors and institutions for continued cassava research and technology transfer.


As intensification of cassava production continues, diseases and pests will become more and more important, necessitating continuous and intensive research efforts. Experience from controlling the epidemics of severe cassava mosaic disease in Uganda demonstrated clearly that with adequate financial support, human resources, team work, linkage and collaboration with all stakeholders at all levels ensures efficient cassava technology generation, transfer and impact, making it possible to manage serious agricultural constraints within the shortest possible time. Active research will be conducted on priority pests and diseases and weeds with a view to developing ecologically sustainable integrated packages for their control. Technologies developed will be transferred through the NANEC system.

Figure 7. Flow diagram for implicated multiplication system for ACMD resistant cassava varieties in Uganda

Figure 7

Figure 8. Flow diagram for the National Network of Cassava Workers (NANEC), Uganda

Figure 8


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District quantitative cassava production trends 1981–1984 (output, '000 tonnes) Eastern region districts

District 1981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993
 Output ('000 tonnes)39.453.652.414.
KamuliArea ('000 ha)19.715.419,
 Output (000 tonnes)73.861.676.4129.973.8140.0158.3174.0196.5191.2173.2135.641.9
lgangaArea ('000 ha)7.49.610.219.86.519.820.020.723.324.932.827.427.2
 Output ('000 tonnes)72.990.688.7147.176.4158.6179.3187.9212.3206.6272.0212.865.9
TororoArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)
MbaleArea ('000 ha)17.415.618.927.215.727.127.C29.553.135.431.627.6273.0
 Output ('000 tonnes)170.3148.0164.3201.6141.2217.4243.1267.1301.6293.4261.9213,866.2
KapchorwaArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)
KumiArea ('000 ha)15.116.517.826.814.826.720.922.
 Output ('000 tonnes)176.9156.0155.2198.3133.7213.8187.6201.3182.0208.4188.2147.345.6
SorotiArea ('000 ha)18.917.318,825.515.620.616.117.215.617.516.413.713.6
 Output ('000 tonnes)184.9163.8163.3189.3140.6165.2145.0155.5141.7145.0136.2106,633.0


Northern region districts

District 1981198218831984198519861987198819891990199119921993
MorotoArea ('000 ha),
 Output ('000 tonnes),
KotidoArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)
ApacArea ('000 ha)17.219.721.525.117.720.320.120.723.324.925.C22.922.7
 Output ('000 tonnes)165.2186.2186.9186.1161.0162.4181.6187.8212.2206.5207.7177.755.0
LiraArea ('000 ha)19.620.922.323.118.518.618.6190.021.422.821.C19.219.0
 Output ('000 tonnes)192.1198.0193.8171.3167.0149.5167,2172.1194.4189.3174.0148.81389.0
KitgumArea ('000 ha)19,219.821.123.117.619.215.C15.117.020.843.522.022.0
 Output ('000 tonnes)188.6187.6183.6^171.5158.1153.8135.0137.3155.0172.7360.7157.749.0
GuluArea ('000 ha)20.923.925.518.321.214.711.512.313.614.817.319.319.1
 Output ('000 tonnes)204.5226.5221,7135.4191.0118.2103.7111.3125.7122.7153.8150.046.4
MOY0Area ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)40.740.147,925.541.327.530.733.339.622.625.820.66.4
AruaArea ('000 ha)19.920.722.524.918.724.824.725.628.829.523.722.722.4
 Output ('000 tonnes)193.0195,4196.0184.4168.8198.8222.4232.0252.1244.5197.9175.854.4
NebbiArea ('000 ha)15.916.4175.714.414.614.414.314.416.217.317.216.316.2
 Output ('000 tonnes)156.0154.9152.9107.0131.7115.4129.1130.9147.8143.9142.6126.739.2


Western region districts

District 1981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993
MasindiArea ('000 ha)15.716.417.616.914.713.413,513.715.414.
 Output ('000 tonnes)155.7154.7153.6125.5132.0107.2121.2124.1140.2122.437.735.410.9
HoimaArea ('000 ha)18.516.016.916.
 Output ('000 tonnes)161.8151.7147.2120.3126.8113.7128.7134.0151.3134.840.538.17.0
KabaroleArea ('000 ha)16.415.417.414.914.512.913.0113.214.814.614.315.515.3
 Output ('000 tonnes)160.4145.7151.6110.7130.6103.3116.8119.2134.7121.4118.3120.237.2
BundibugyoArea ('000 ha) 32.12.0
 Output ('000 tonnes)
KaseseArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes) 028.423.27.1
KabaleArea ('000 ha)2 53.03
 Output ('000 tonnes)24.328.330.225.526.027.531.130.634.627.530.024.41.6
RukungiriArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes) 834.831.535 523.
BushenyiArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)60.961.960.648.062.243.749.448.554.856,
MbararaArea ('000 ha)12.312.112.88.610.611.311.810.3    10.2
 Output ('000 tonnes)19.7114.0111.663.796.393.897.980.0    24.1


Central region districts

District 1981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993
RakaiArea ('000 ha),
 Output ('000 tonnes)40.549.766.157.244.361.669.776.686.548.341.330.89.5
MasakaArea ('000 ha)8.110.512.314.
 Output ('000 tonnes)79.599.7106.7109.471.574.584.292.5101.676.942.5192.49.6
MpigiArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)80.764.170.955.747.560.168.074.664.382.0111.190.727.0
MukonoArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)86.685.4112.8110.891.2119.5135.1139.4157.4153.2124.0101.331.3
luweroArea ('000 ha)
 Output ('000 tonnes)
MubendeArea ('000 ha)6.67.719.
 Output ('000 tonnes)64.672.978.742.352.621.524.326.730.129.330.023.5-7.3
KampalaArea ('000 ha),
 Output ('000 tonnes)

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