Modernizing crop breeding in Nigeria to meet market demand

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The National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), renowned for its rich legacy and dedicated mandate to improve root and tuber crops, plays a crucial role in the evolution of breeding practices. Their development of improved varieties is essential to satisfying market demands and addressing the needs of all stakeholders. As the demand for cassava, yam, potato, and sweet potato varieties evolves, breeding approaches must also adapt.

A significant shift involves understanding and documenting the interests and preferences of various stakeholders for each commodity and incorporating these insights into breeding programs. This demand-led approach contrasts with the traditional method, where breeders solely determine desirable traits. By consulting stakeholders across the value chain—farmers, seed producers, transporters, processors, marketers, and consumers—at the initial stages, the breeding process aims to define and develop varieties that align with market needs and stakeholder expectations.

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