The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom have given Cornell University $25.2 million to conduct a breeding project expected to improve yields on the cassava root. Researchers of this
project, which is estimated to take 5 years, plan to use a technique called genomic-selection which they hope will “shorten breeding cycles, provide more accurate evaluation at the seedling stage and give plant breeders the ability to evaluate a much larger number of clones without the need to plant them in the target environment.”
Genomic selection is not a GE process. Rather than engineering genes by combining them to form something new, this work uses genetics to read genomes of various cassava varieties, and to select those with the best characteristics. This research will be coordinated with many organizations both in the US, and in Africa, where cassava is a stable crop. It is estimated that 500 million people in Africa consume cassava daily.
Read more about this Gates-funded project here:
If you are interested in learning more about genomic selection you can read about it here: