𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐫𝐨𝐩 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐈𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬: 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐟. 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐝𝐨𝐳𝐢𝐞 𝐄𝐠𝐞𝐬𝐢


28 March 2024, Ibadan, Nigeria – In a recent interview, RadioIITA had the privilege of speaking with Prof. Chiedozie Egesi, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and the crop lead for cassava in the RTB Breeding project. Here are some highlights from our conversation:

Egesi provided an update on the Root Tubers and Banana (RTB) Breeding Project, founded in 2023. Over the past year, significant milestones have been achieved, including the integration of different crop breeding projects into one cohesive initiative. This consolidation has streamlined management and enhanced efficiency in implementing breeding efforts for crops like cassava, yam, banana, sweet potato, and potato.

Discussing the transition of the NexGen Cassava Breeding project into the OneCGIAR Crop Breeding Project, Egesi highlighted the challenges faced and the collaborative efforts to overcome them. Emphasizing the importance of working together, he noted the alignment of various initiatives and the intentional effort to strengthen partnerships between CG Centers and national programs.

He also shared notable achievements within the RTB Breeding Project, particularly in sweet potato, yam, banana, and cassava breeding efforts. By leveraging synergies across different crops and implementing shared tools and technologies, the project has significantly improved crop productivity and resilience in African food systems.

As the Executive Director of NRCRI, Egesi discussed the institute’s evolution under his leadership. He highlighted the vision to make NRCRI the reference point for root and tuber crops in Africa, emphasizing the importance of partnerships, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement in achieving this goal.

Overall, Egesi provided valuable insights into the advancements, challenges, and future directions of crop breeding initiatives, underscoring the critical role of collaborative research in enhancing food security and agricultural development in Africa.


Contributed by Dajie Odok