Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
(IITA) join a network of regional associations and agricultural institutes, country-level
agricultural research organizations, and local implementing partners in proposing
the Crop Crisis Control Project (C3P), an 18-month initiative to intensify, and
bring coordination to, the fight against Cassava mosaic virus disease (CMD) and
Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) in six countries of Central and East Africa – Burundi,
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Key elements of the C3P include:
- Two of the most respected names in agriculture and food security in Africa – CRS
and IITA – with decades of experience operating with and through local partnerships.
- Maximizing regional coordination mechanisms offered by the International Agricultural
Research Centers and ASARECA commodity networks in East and Central Africa.
- A network of longstanding partners prepared for a “quick start” to C3P implementation
that will take advantage of the imminent planting season. CRS has consciously engaged
partners based on their geographic proximity to the pandemic, and their experience
with banana and cassava multiplication, distribution, and disease prevention.
- A small grant fund to engage numerous additional partners post-award in the coordinated
- An existing food security database, to be expanded to include all six project
- An experienced Geographic Information System (GIS) Unit that will transform information
into a tool for forecasting food insecurity.
- A targeted 542 ha of disease-resistant cassava multiplied (of which at least 235
ha will be part of the quick start), and nearly 180,000 banana suckers multiplied
through the life of the C3P.
- Information, education, communication and training for extension staff and farmers,
particularly in rapid multiplication, macro-propagation, and disease management.
The CRS and IITA project team, led by an experienced Chief of Party, includes veteran
agronomists, a social scientist, cassava and banana breeders, a socio-economist,
a plant pathologist, a virologist, and a GIS specialist. Backed by the experience
of their organizations and partners, the C3P consortium is positioned to tap into
the most extensive expertise available.