1. What is the VIRCA PLUS project?
VIRCA Plus is a research project to develop virus disease resistant and nutritionally enhanced cassava varieties that will empower African smallholder farmers and improve the health status of consumers.
Launched in 2016, VIRCA Plus builds on the success of two predecessor projects. The Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA) project successfully developed strong and stable resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease, validated over multiple cropping cycles in several locations in Kenya and Uganda. The BioCassava Plus project developed and tested cassava plants with 10 times more iron and zinc than comparable varieties, levels that would bring nutritionally significant benefits to consumers.
VIRCA Plus combines and leverages the knowledge, experience and achievements of these two earlier projects in continued work to improve cassava harvests and provide better nutrition in East and West Africa.