The East Timor Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has announced the release of two new high-yielding, sweet cassava varieties found to more than double the yield of local varieties.
The release of varieties known as Ai-luka 2 and 4 is based on the results of extensive research conducted on more than 60 varieties of cassava through the Seeds of Life program within the MAF Division of Research and Specialised Services.
Seeds of Life is a food security program funded jointly by the East Timor Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, AusAID and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The program aims to reduce hunger by improving crop yield, through the use of improved varieties of staple food crops.
These two new varieties of cassava came from Malang, Indonesia through cooperation with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
The varieties were chosen because of their high yield and good flavour, and the positive response from farmers. They yielded 51-65% more than local varieties in replicated and on-farm trials.
The release of Ai-luka 2 and 4 gives farmers throughout East Timor greater access to the varieties, helping farmers to increase their production and become more food secure on their own land.
MAF has now released nine new staple food crops through the Seeds of Life program. In March 2007 the Ministry launched a new variety of rice called Nakroma; three new varieties of sweet potato with the names Hohrae 1, 2 and 3; a new variety of peanut with the name Utamua; and two new varieties of maize with the names Sele and Suwan 5.
For more information visit the Seeds of Life website http://seedsoflifetimor.org/
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor-Leste, has put out a media release on the new cassava varieties, attached below.