There are many improved varieties of cassava that have been released into the Nigerian agricultural landscape through the national varietal release committee. Among these varieties, the VSEs on the BASICS Project are currently multiplying and selling seeds of TMEB419 (TME 419), IITA-TMS-IBA980505 (TMS 98/0505), IITA-TMS-IBA980581 (TMS 98/0581), IITA-TMS-IBA30572 (TMS 30572), NR8082, and IITA-TMS-IBA011368 (TMS 01/1368, Vitamin A/Yellow variety).
The characteristics of these varieties are provided in table below.
|S/N||Official clone name||Original Name||Variety Name||Year of Release||Featured traits|
|1||IITA-TMS-IBA30572||NICASS 1||-||1984||High dry matter (25%), moderate CMD resistance, early bulking, high starch and high yielding (> 25 t/ha)|
|2||NR8082||NR8082||NICASS 14||1986||High yielding (> 25 t/ha) - NRCRI, Umudike|
|3||TME419||TME-419||NICASS 20||2005||High dry matter (25%), high CMD resistance, high yielding (> 25 t/ha), poundable and high starch|
|4||IITA-TMS-IBA980505||TMS I980505||NICASS 22||2005||High CMD resistance, high starch, high yielding, early bulking|
|5||IITA-TMS-IBA980581||TMS I980581||NICASS 24||2005||High dry matter (25%), high CMD resistance, high yielding (> 25 t/ha), stay green and drought tolerant|
|6||IITA-TMS-IBA011368||TMS I011368||UMUCASS 36||2011||Vitamin A cassava, yellow roots, moderate CMD resistance and high yielding (> 25 t/ha)|
NASC has sole responsibility for seed certification in Nigeria through its seed quality control activities. The categories of seeds of released varieties that are subject to seed certification in the country are: a) breeder seed; b) foundation seed/inbred lines; and c) certified seed. Certification guarantees farmers that the seed in circulation is genetically pure and that it meets specified minimum seed certification standard. All cassava seeds offered by VSEs for sale
The VSEs Village Seed Entrepreneurs (VSEs) otherwise known as Seed Entrepreneurs are experienced cassava farmers who have been trained in the good agricultural and business practices for the establishment and management of cassava seed farms/fields. Key training modules that they have undergone include, cassava agronomy, stem handling and management, varietal identification, quality control, diseases and pest identification and management and business basics. The modules were developed with inputs from technical specialists from ADP, CRS, IITA, NASC and NRCRI. Fields are prepared and managed in conformity with National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) improved seed certification requirements for cassava.
Over 100 VSEs managed by CRS are currently multiplying Foundation seeds to produce Certified seeds for farmers in Benue its neighboring states. VSEs only offer for sale seeds harvested from cassava fields that have been certified evidenced by a certificate that guarantees their quality.