Gaps in cassava collection in Africa highlighted

A request from MapSpaM for people to help them in mapping the distribution of cassava cultivation in Africa1 forced me into some more playing with Google Earth. I just took MapSpaM’s draft cassava map…

…and plonked on top of it the germplasm provenance data from Genesys. Here’s the result (right click to save the kmz file):

Which highlights — not for the first time, but very powerfully — the lack of material from eastern and southern Africa in the international genebanks. It is definitely important to think about safety duplicating national collections from those countries.

Here’s a close-up for West Africa:

Pretty good representation overall, but even here there are some definite gaps. Time to get collecting again in Africa too. Though of course a geographic gap is not necessarily a genetic gap…

  1. You may remember us mentioning MapSpaM before as part of an ongoing discussion of crop distribution data. []

2 Replies to “Gaps in cassava collection in Africa highlighted”

  1. If the yellows shows cultivation there is nothing at all from Ethiopia and lots from Northern Kenya and the Southern Sudan. Either there is something badly wrong with the data, or we have found a solution to famine in Ethiopia: grow cassava.
    And further collecting may be a problem. I am still trying to find out from FAO if there is any movement at all of germplasm between developing countries under the Treaty SMTA. Anybody have any figures? FAO either don’t know (hard to believe) or won’t tell.

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