(AP) — In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Shakirat Ajayi, sorts out cassava plants in a storage room at the International Institutes For Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria.
From fields nestled among the lush rolling hills of Nigeria’s southwest, the small plants rising out the hard red dirt appear fragile, easily crushed by weather or chance. Looks, however, are deceiving. These cassava plants will grow into a dense thicket of hard, bamboo-like shoots within a year, with roots so massive a single planted hectare can provide three tons of food. The plants survive fires, droughts and pestilence, while offering a vital food source for more than 500 million people living across sub-Saharan Africa. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)