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The increase in population and the growing urbanization of the developing world will lead to significant global changes and new challenges for feeding the increasing population. On the basis of current projections, it is expected that by 2020 cassava will be increasingly used in processed form for food, feed and starch-derived products. From a global perspective, non-food and non-feed uses of cassava will also grow in volume as a result of biotechnology research that enhances varietal characteristics and lowers its cost as a source of raw material. Thus, business opportunities for the uses of cassava as a human food, fodder and industry raw material exist both in the domestic as well as export markets and, if well exploited could, offer good returns and investment.

The Global cassava market study was prepared with the financial assistance of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC) as a contribution to the Global Cassava Development Strategy. The study describes how specific cassava product markets have evolved; it identifies the key factors that contributed to the growth of these markets and the major stakeholders in this evolution, with the aim of featuring opportunities that could be worthy of consideration and development for all cassava producing countries.

The study is divided into two parts. Part 1 refers to domestic market opportunities, while Part 2 refers to export market opportunities. Within each part the main cassava markets are examined in different chapters for fresh and processed cassava, cassava flour, cassava starch and cassava chips for animal feed. Within each of these chapters a global perspective is provided followed by individual case studies from Africa, Asia, the European Union, Latin America and North America. The nature and magnitude of cassava's contribution in domestic and export market and its competitiveness were studied on a country-by-country basis. These studies were presented at the Validation Forum that was jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFAD at FAO headquarters, Rome, April 2000.

The FAO Crop and Grassland Service of the Plant Production and Protection Division has compiled these case studies and is now pleased to publish the Proceedings in order to disseminate the information to various stakeholders including cassava producers, policy-makers, donors, technical and scientific institutions, NGOs and the private sector.

It is hoped that the available information will contribute to supporting the potential of cassava to be an engine of economic growth in many cassava-producing countries and so contribute to the improvement of food security.

Mahmoud B. Solh
FAO Plant Production and Protection Division

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