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31 Oct 2007 description

Global plant genetics policy and research unite with emergency operations against lethal crop disease

Bujumbura/Rome - Just as a system for the world wide exchange of plant genetic resources was made operational by the international community in Rome this week, farmers in Burundi kicked off a new season, planting cassava free of a deadly disease that brought hunger to thousands of people in the Great Lakes region.

For a long time, African farmers were not especially alarmed when the leaves of their cassava plants occasionally became patchy and failed to grow as big as usual.