Rakod research and impact
Rakod agric team have played a leading role in developing improved cassava varieties which are disease- and pest-resistant, low in cyanide content, drought-resistant, early maturing, and high yielding. Disease-resistant varieties give sustainable yields of about 50% more than local varieties. Distribution of CMD-resistant varieties in response to the CMD outbreak in East and Central Africa resulted in production levels recovering to pre-epidemic levels in less than five years. Improved cassava varieties are now used in most cassava-growing countries in SSA.
The team resulted in a 95% reduction in cassava mealybug damage and a 50% reduction in damage caused by the cassava green mite. Post-harvest strategies include the development of effective and simple machines and tools that reduce processing time and labor, and production losses. With these machines, losses can be reduced by 50% and labor by 75%.