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High-value cassava: From a dream to a concrete reality

Ceballos H., Sanchez T., Rosero A., Tofino A.P., Denyer K., Smith A., Dufour D., Morante N., Pérez J.C., Fregene M., Egesi C.. 2008. In : R.H. Howeler. A New Future for Cassava in Asia: Its Use as Food, Feed and Fuel to Benefit the Poor. Proceedings of the Eighth Regional Workshop, 20-24 oct, 2008, Ventiane, Lao. s.l. : s.n., p. 9-30. Asian Cassava Research Workshop. 8, 2008-10-24/2008-10-28, Ventiane (Laos, République démocratique populaire).

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important food security crop for many tropical and subtropical countries. It is also acquiring an increasing role in rural development as raw material for different industries. The most important industrial uses of cassava are as a source of energy in the feed industry, the bio-ethanol and starch industries, and for processed food. For cassava to be a suitable raw material for different industrial pathways, it has to have a competitive price, which is dependent on high and stable fresh root production, high dry matter content and adequate cultural practices that will maximize yields and reduce production costs. For years many institutions have successfully satisfied these needs. However, to consolidate and expand the industrial uses of cassava, the cassava breeding project at CIAT began increasing the emphasis in the search for value-added traits with the turn of the millennium. Several strategies have been implemented simultaneously. For the feed industry, the main objective is enhanced nutritional quality, particularly with regard to protein and pro-vitamin A carotenoids content. For the starch industry, amylose-free and high-amylose mutations have been identified. Inbreeding has been introduced to cassava genetic improvement because it offers many advantages, including a facilitated identification of useful recessive traits including new plant architecture types. Ongoing research for the production of doubled-haploid lines will reduce the time required to reach full homozygosity. Finally, CIAT has set up a high capacity root-quality laboratory to routinely screen the roots of the thousands of new genotypes generated every year.

Mots-clés : manihot esculenta; manioc; colombie

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