The GCP21 Strategy

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"To Create an Effective Cassava Scientific and Institutional Foundation for the Transformation of the Crop": Cassava has been traditionally a neglected crop, therefore investment in science and technology has been very limited and consequently returns on investment are poor! Cassava is growing in productivity because of its numerous advantages that farmers and consumers have recognized. GCP21, a global partnership, acknowledges this recognition and will work at changing the trend in investment in science and technology and will enhance synergism between all the partners working on and for the crop.

"Developing the Cassava Strategy with the Community for the Community": GCP21 is a global partnership, which will express the voice of the cassava community on all topics and will enhance this voice to be heard by the donor community. Workshops will be organized will all the relevant partners and road maps and plans of actions will be elaborated with these partners. Effective solutions will emerge from these workshops and GCP21 will work at implementing actions plans with the participation and contribution of all partners and donors. Organization and coordination will emerge naturally from this common approach.

Working with the Cassava Community for the Benefit of the Community

Cassava is the world’s fourth source of calories after wheat, corn, and rice, is the second source of starch for the global industry, and can sustain the impacts of climate change. We need to transfer scientific advancements to the crop so that cassava growers and processors can better tackle biological, genetic, and physiological challenges, as well as to better organize its cultivation, propagation, surveillance, and transformation in order to reduce major constraints and prevent new ones to emerge. We also need to develop more and better products with added value, especially in Africa, where urbanization develops rapidly and where urban populations will need access to processed and more nutritious food.

To achieve these goals, GCP21 will work actively at stimulating all these actions, with the community and for the community, through public awareness at all levels. Engagement will involve not only policy makers but also the private sector and the best scientists willing to apply their tools and knowledge to the crop. All of these activities will be done in coordination with RTB (which includes IITA and CIAT) and other key partners such as African NARS. Throughout, GCP21 will act as a convening organization.

The cassava community begins with the farmers and ends with the consumers. In between, many actors must play their role to improve the overall system. GCP21 will work at gathering a variety of players around specific topics, all centered on the cultivation, processing, marketing, and consumption of cassava products, and recycling of waste for added value. Cassava farmers often do not have resources to add inputs to the crop; therefore, productivity remains very low and consequently there is little industrialization of cassava in most African countries. This poverty cycle has to be broken to boost productivity and allow industrialization to alleviate poverty for millions of poor farmers and their families. GCP21 will actively investigate the many ways such a cycle could be broken.

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