In an early yellow root cassava study in 2003 to 2004, we investigated agronomic performance of pro Vitamin A (yellow fleshed) cassava genotypes in three locations in Nigeria (Ibadan, Mokwa, and Onne). Twenty-two clones and three checks were evaluated. A randomized complete block design was used with four replications. Characteristics showing significant differences among genotypes across all locations included sprouting, vigor, harvest index, root size, storage root yield, dry matter content and fiber content. Plant height, root mealiness and taste were different in only selected locations. Six clones showed stable performance across locations including IITA TMS I011413, IITA TMS I011442, IITA TMS I011663, IITA TMS I982132, IITA TMS I011277 and IITA TMS I011235. Clones IITA TMS I940330 showed the highest dry matter content of 38%. All clones exhibited good resistant to cassava mosaic disease, cassava bacterial blight, cassava green mite, and cassava anthracnose disease. These genotypes ranged in total carotenoid content from 3.4 to 8.2 µg/g fresh weight. In terms of yield, the best clones were IITA TMS I011368 (26 t/ha), IITA TMS I011663 (22 t/ha) and IITA TMS I982132 (25 t/ha). For gari yield clone IITA, TMS I011649 gave 25%, IITA TMS I940330 gave 23%, and IITA TMS I9001554 gave 23%. They were better than the best check IITA TMS I30572, with 22% gari yield. This study showed the potential for biofortification of cassava as a valid strategy to approach the problem of micronutritient deficiencies of the population in the region where cassava is a staple food.
Key words: cassava varieties, biofortification, pro Vitamin A, Nigeria, agronomic performance.
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