Lifeline for Congo

2019-03-06 14:19:01

By Fred Pearce in Ibadan PLANT breeders are hoping to prevent famine in war-ravaged Congo by stemming the advance of a deadly new virus that attacks its staple crop, cassava. The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have relied on cassava to avoid starvation during years of civil war and misrule. Its roots are packed with carbohydrate and its leaves are the main green vegetable eaten by the country’s 45 million people. But the plant’s survival is threatened by a virulent new strain of the cassava mosaic virus. The strain evolved in Uganda,