In the first phase of WAVE, much focus was given to cassava due to the fact that:

  • cassava is a staple food for an estimated 500 million Africans
  • cassava is a strategic food security and poverty reduction crop
  • the crop is threatened by two key viruses – cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), both of which can cause yield losses of between 50% and 100%. Losses on this scale have serious consequences for cassava farmers and the food security of the poor, as well as for the growing number of industries that use cassava. CBSD has not yet reached West Africa, but all current projections indicate that it will soon unless decisive action is taken.

Working to address the virus threats to root and tuber crops, in particular to cassava, WAVE has during its first phase (2015-2019), achieved many milestones including:

a. Monitoring and mapping of hotspots and virus-free areas
b. Improved understanding of vectors and hosts
c. Improvement of early detection and diagnosis
d. Sharing of Knowledge and Protocols
e. Gender focus capacity building