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An ICT based platform to Track and Monitor the Certification and Distribution of Clean Cassava Planting Material

Several households in eastern and northern Uganda depend on cassava as their sole starch staple food and source of income. In the 1990s, cassava production was threatened by the emergency of the Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) which led to high incidences of hunger in the regions and loss of household income. To address the challenges posed by the CMD, the government of Uganda through the National Agriculture Research Organization (NARO) introduced and promoted CMD resistant varieties to replace the once popular landraces to avert food insecurity. However, the newly adopted varieties were in the 2010s devastated by emergency of an even more devastating disease, Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD). Up to date, resistant varieties to CBSD have not been developed. The rapid spread of the cassava viral diseases is largely attributed to the poor monitoring and tracking of the cassava planting material production, certification and distribution processes. The strategy of ensuring continued availability of clean cassava planting materials for farmers has largely focused on promoting the use of clean planting materials which are virus indexed, produced in tissue culture laboratory, and multiplied in screen houses as basic seed. Such basic seed stock is later multiplied in “mother gardens” prior to distribution to farmers as seed.

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