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Breeding cassava for multiple pest resistance in Africa
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The major constraints to stable production of cassava in Africa are diseases, insects, mites, weeds, soil and agronomic limitations and socio-economic factors. Of the economic diseases, African cassava mosaic, bacterial blight, and anthracnose are the most important. The green spider mite and cassava mealybug are by far the most economically important arthropod pests. The long growing period and diverse agroecologies in which cassava cultivars are grown expose them to one or more of these problems and the losses can be devastating. Multiple pest resistance helps to ensure stability of crop performance. Research experience, progress and prospects in breeding cassava for resistance to the pests of greatest economic importance in Africa are presented.