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September 16, 2017

Cassava and Vietnam: Now and Then

Hoàng Kim

On 21 -25 August, 2017, Dr. Claude M. Fauquet, Director of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21), who cassava trip in Vietnam, do a road trip for five days to visit four key provinces and city Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh city, DakLak, and Phu Yen. We look at cassava research and production and processing and shared meeting with presentations and discussions on collaboration between GCP21, CIAT and IAS, NLU for the ‘Cassava Conservation and Sustainable Development in Vietnam’.

"I have learned a great deal about cassava in Vietnam and I have a better view of what the near future will be in your country! The road from Daklak to Phu Yen was indeed very interesting and the cassava plantations are quite impressive. I was also quite interested to see the decline in cassava plantations with the competition with sugarcane and pepper, that is quite a concern! And the future will tell us what will happen. And thanks for organizing the visit to the village with the vice-king of cassava and his colleagues, very interesting and very enthusiastic lunch! I hope that his example will teach other farmers to adopt new varieties and that you can help in the process". Dr. Claude said.

After cassa trip in Vietnam. Dr. Claude send email to Dr. Hoang Kim and VNCP group:

"Hoang, I am coming to you, because you know everything in Vietnam and therefore you can probably advise on the next phase.
In our exchange of information prior to my visit, I said that the outcome of such visit was mostly unpredictable, and I believe now that the outcome could be to set-up a regional task force to control CMD in the region!
The following points are clear to me:
1.   The disease is now spreading quickly; mid 2016 the infection was located in a few places in Cambodia and now it is in 5 provinces in East Cambodia and at least one in Vietnam.
2.   The disease is mostly spread by cuttings, although whiteflies are present they play for now a minor, but important role.
3.   There are several initiatives that have been taken; JIICA, CIAT, FAO, ACIAR, but none at the level required to control the disease.
4.   We need to set-up a regional project simply because viruses do not know about borders and there is a lot of traffic of cuttings, at least Cambodia-Vietnam.
5.   Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam should all be enrolled in the plan.
6.   GCP21 could serve as a catalyzer to promote the development of this regional plan.
I have contacted all parties, including Thailand (TTDI and KU), waiting for more comments. So far the idea is shared by many people.
My question to you are:
·     Do you share my views about the necessity of the regional plan?
·     Who are the very key Vietnamese institutions and persons in Vietnam who should be involved in the preparation of such plan.
·     Is there anybody in charge of CMD in Vietnam to collect and centralize samples, information…
Many thanks

Claude M. Fauquet,
Director of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21)

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