Africa Science Media Centre (AfriSMC) Press Briefing

What:  Genome Editing Africa: A game changer for cassava improvement for Africa

When: Wednesday 28th April, 2021

Time: 9:00am -10:30am, Abuja, Nigeria or 11:00am -12.30pm (EAT)

Where: Zoom webinar (details below)

You are invited to a press briefing on how Africa is using Genome Editing for crop improvement and biofortification. Case in place is genome editing for cassava which has become a game changer for the crop improvement for Africa.

In the press briefing, the Expert Dr Ihuoma Okwuonu, who has been leading the Cassava improvement program, will spotlight how she has been applying the cutting-edge technologies, such as genome editing, to improve cassava micronutrients, starch content, yields and seed systems in Nigeria.

Cassava is an important staple food and cash crop in many developing countries. It occupies both functional and strategic importance to their economies. The Food and Agriculture Organization has identified a cassava crop in Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda for food security and poverty reduction.

Cassava is a basic staple to more than 500 million people around the world and over 200 million people in Africa depend on it for daily calories. It is a choice food for many families, especially in Nigeria, which is the highest producer of the crop, according to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Thus, improving the nutritional value of cassava should be ranking highly in Africa’s crop improvement priority list as a sure way of dealing with malnutrition on the continent.

Speaker:  Dr Ihuoma Okwuonu

Dr Okwuonu is a Plant Biotechnologist and the Chief Research Scientists at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Umudike, Nigeria. She is the coordinator of the Institute’s Biotechnology Research Programme. She is an alumni of the University of Nigeria (BSc), the University of Jos (MSc), and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (PhD).

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Meeting ID: 894 3315 6301
Passcode: 713292