'Rambo' plant set to blossom as Africa's top crop

Scientists say the long-neglected cassava root becomes even more productive in hotter temperatures and could be the best bet for African farmers threatened by climate change.

Scientists from the Colombia-based International Centre for Tropical Agriculture praised cassava as the “rambo of the food crops” after publishing findings Monday in the scientific journal Tropical Plant Biology.

The study said starch-rich cassava thrived in tests using a combination of climate prediction and crop suitability models also tried on potato, maize, bean, banana, millet and sorghum.

The scientists found that with expected temperature increases of up to 2° C, cassava production in East Africa would increase 10% and it would find more hospitable climes in southern Africa.—Sapa-AP

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