“Something is killing Ramadhani Juma’s cassava crop. ‘Maybe it’s too much water,’ he says, fingering clusters of withered yellow leaves on a six-foot-high plant. ‘Or too much sun.’ Juma works a small plot, barely more than an acre, near the town of Bagamoyo, on the Indian Ocean about 40 miles north of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. On a rainy March morning, trailed by two of his four young sons, he’s talking with a technician from the big city, 28-year-old Deogratius Mark of the Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute. Mark tells Juma his problem is neither sun nor rain. The real cassava killers, far too small to see, are viruses.”
National Geographic has dedicated part of it’s editorial coverage this year to reporting on the global challenges of meeting the world’s food demands leading up to 2050. The above excerpt is from the article “The Next Green Revolution” and is a part of that coverage and discusses plant biotechnology, plant breeding and organic farming.