The University of Battambang’s Cassava Propagation and Distribution Center has announced that it is now able to produce high-quality and disease- and insect-resistant cassava seedlings which can provide higher yields for farmers.
Pao Srean, the centre’s Agriculture and Food Processing Faculty’s dean, said they are now able to produce seedlings which provide yields of up to 30 tonnes per hectare.
He said the university’s research is under the Project for Development and Dissemination of Sustainable Production System based on Invasive Pest Management of Cassava in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, which is funded by the Japanese government.
The five-year STREPS project ends next year and costs nearly $5 million, funded by an Official Development Assistance grant from the Japanese government through Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Mr Srean said that under the STREPS project, major disease pathogens are identified and a disease monitoring system is introduced, insect pest management system is developed, cassava seed system is established and new breeding technology that can shorten the breeding cycle is developed.
Healthy seedlings and sustainable production method are disseminated to producers.
Mr Srean added that the project used Japanese and other available advanced technologies, based on global best practices and knowledge to address urgent issues affecting cassava production, focusing on drastically reducing damage caused by insects and slowing their spread.
He said the systems of pest management and healthy seed production, developed by the project, are introduced to main production areas in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The models for pest management and healthy seed management have been established.
“We started the project in 2015 and it will end in 2020,” Mr Srean noted. “This project under the Japanese grant is to research and produce high quality cassava seedling using science and technology.”
“We have managed to produce high-yield and disease-resistant cassava seedlings mainly the Rayong 7, 9, and 60 varieties,” he added. “We hope that by the end of the project, cassava seedlings from the centre will be used in up to 100 hectares of land in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and other provinces.”