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Cassava was first introduced to the Africa continent, close to the mouth of the Congo River by Portuguese explorers and traders from Brazil, South America in the course of the 16th and 17th centuries. From there it was diffused by Africans, to many parts of sub-Saharan Africa over a period of two to three hundred years. In the course of its spreading across the continent, cassava has replaced traditional staples such as millet and yam, and has been successfully incorporated into many farming systems. It was initially adopted as a famine reserve crop as it provided a more reliable source of food during drought, locust attacks and the hungry season, the period before seasonal food crops are ready for harvesting.

At present, approximately half of the world production of cassava is in Africa where it is cultivated in around 40 countries, stretching through a wide belt from Madagascar in the southeast to Senegal and Cape Verde in the northwest. Approximately 75 percent of Africa's cassava output is harvested in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique. Cassava is grown by millions of poor African farmers, many of them women, often on marginal land. For these people, the crop is vital for both food security and income generation.

On the basis of current projections, it is expected that by 2020, over 60 percent of global cassava production will be in sub-Saharan Africa, where economic growth will be slow but population growth fast. Cassava, therefore, will be a favoured source of cheap carbohydrates in the countryside and will also continue to serve as a food security crop. Furthermore, as urbanization continues in the continent, more people in cities and towns will purchase their food rather than grow it themselves. This will continue to give small farmers a source of cash income from cassava; some of it will reach the market in a processed form. The resulting gain in poverty reduction and greater food security will depend in part on an integrated set of research and development outputs that include higher-yielding, pest-resistant varieties; improved crop management and integrated protection measures as well as processing equipment and procedures; better linkages among producers, processors, and consumers through capacity-building in market analysis and enterprise development; and improved policies that facilitate the development and adoption of these innovations.

The vision for cassava in Africa is that if the cassava food system is improved, it will enhance rural industrial development and raise incomes for producers, processors and traders. Cassava will contribute more to the food security status of its producing and consuming households, and will become an even more important cash crop that can promote rural development.

To achieve this vision, the Global Cassava Development Strategy was formulated with the participation of a large number of stakeholders and with support from FAO and IFAD. The essence of the Strategy is to use a demand/market-driven and commodity chain approach to promote and develop cassava-based industries with the assistance of a coalition of stakeholders including cassava producers and their organizations, governments and policy-makers, donors, technical and research institutions and their networks, NGOs and the private sector. The Strategy recognizes the need to support NEPAD's Pan-African Initiative, which is in support of the existing National and “Presidential” Initiatives, and public-private partnerships and multidonors' programmes on cassava in sub-Saharan Africa.

As a contribution to the development of the Global Cassava Strategy, IFAD's generous financial assistance supported the preparation of the Africa Regional Review on Cassava, the Country Case Studies on Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Bening, and the Report of the Africa Consultations on the Global Cassava Development Strategy. These were presented at the Validation Forum that was jointly organized by FAO and IFAD in FAO headquarters, Rome, April 2000.

The Crop and Grassland Service of the FAO Plant Production and Protection Division has compiled these documents and is now pleased to publish the Proceedings in order to disseminate the information to stakeholders, cassava producers and their organizations, governments and policy-makers, donors, technical and research institutions and their networks, NGOs and their networks, the private sector - as well as to scholars, experts and interested individuals.

It is hoped that this information will help to strengthen institutional and technical capacity in support of sustainable development and management of the cassava sub-sector, and value-added agro-enterprise enhancement, in order to contribute to increased food availability, poverty reduction, employment, better economic opportunities and wealth creation for improved livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable population of Africa.

Mahmoud B. Solh
Plant Production and Protection Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


The FAO Crop and Grassland Service would like to acknowledge the contribution of the following authors: Felix Nweke for the paper on cassava transformation in Africa; Dunstan Spencer and associates for the cassava overview on Africa; Adeoye Adeniji, Lawrence Ega, Malachy Akoroda, A.A. Adeniyi and Boniface Ugwu for the case study on Nigeria; Francis Ofori, E.V. Doku, Ramanatu Al-Hassan, J.J. Afuakwa, D. Pessey, R.K. Noamesi and W. Amoa-Amwuah for the case study on Ghana; Regina Kapinga, January Mafuru, Simon Jeremiah, Elizabeth Rwiza, Ruth Kamala, Fredrick Mashamba and Nicholas Mlingi for the case study on Tanzania; G.W. Otim-Nape, A. Bua, G. Ssemakula, G. Acola, Y. Baguma, S. Ogwal and R. Van der Grift for the case study on Uganda and N. Maroya, G. Houngnibo, C. Medenou, A. Lagbadohossou, S.F. Djogbenou, B. Soude and J. Monhouanou for the case study on Benin.

Felix Nweke, Adeoye Adeniji, Lawrence Ega, Boniface Ugwu, Malachy Akoroda, Francis Ofori, Regina Kapinga, January Mafuru, Simon Jeremiah, Elizabeth Rwiza, Otim-Nape, Anton Bua, Norbert Maroya and Adrianna Gabrielli are thanked for editing and Rita Ashton for preparing the camera-ready text.

Special acknowledgements are due to NeBambi Lutaladio (Agricultural Officer, Crop and Grassland Service, FAO) who has patiently coordinated, guided and made possible the release of this publication within the framework of the Global Cassava Development Strategy.

Eric A. Kueneman
Crop and Grassland Service
FAO Plant Production and Protection Division


Acola, G.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, Uganda
Adeniji, A.A.Federal Department of Agriculture, Ijebu-Ife, Nigeria
Adeniyi, A.A.Federal Agricultural Coordinating Unit, Abuja, Nigeria
Afuakwa, J.J.Crop Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana
Akoroda, M.O.University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Al-Hassan, R.University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
Amoa-Awuah, W.Food Research Institute, Accra, Ghana
Baguma, Y.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, Uganda
Balogun, de A.Ogun State Agricultural Development Project, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Bua, A.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, Uganda
Djogbenou, S.F.Direction de l'agriculture, Cotonou, Bénin
Doku, E.V.University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
Ega, L.A.Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
Houngnibo, G.Centre d'actions rurales pour le développement régional, Ouémé, Bénin
Jeremiah, S.Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania
Kamala, R.Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania
Kapinga, R.Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania
Lagbadohossou, A.Ministère du développement rural, Cotonou, Bénin
Mafuru, J.Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania
Maroya, N.Institut national des recherches agricoles du Bénin, Cotonou, Bénin,
Mashamba, F.Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania
Medenou, C.Minister du développement rural, Cotonou, Bénin
Mlingi, N.Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania
Monhouanou, J.Institut national des recherches agricoles du Bénin, Niaouli, Bénin
Noamesi, R.k.Glucosett GhanaLtd., Accra, Ghana
Nweke, F.I.Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA
Ofori, F.Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Accra, Ghana
Ogwal, S.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, Uganda
Otim-Nape, G.W.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, Uganda
Pessey, D.Transport and commodity General, Donkokrom, Ghana
Rwiza, E.Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Tanzania
Ssemakula, G.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, Uganda
Soude, B.Programme d'interventions locales pour la sécuritéalimentaire, Bénin
Spencer, D.S.C.Dunstan Spencer and Associates, Sierra Leone
Ugwu, B.O.National Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria
Van der Grift, R.Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute, Uganda


ACMDAfrican Cassava Mosaic Disease
ADPAgricultural Development Project
AGDIVAgricultural Diversification Project
AGDPAgricultural Gross Domestic Product
APMEUAgricultural Projects Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
ASARECA,Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa
ASIPAgricultural Sector Investments Project
BEABlock Extension Agent
BLPBetter Life Programme
BSBreeder Seeds
CADCassava Anthracnose Disease
CARDERCentre d'actions rurales pour le développement régional
CBBCassava Bacterial Blight
CEDMACentre départemental de matériels agricoles
CENAPCentre National d'Agro Pédologie
CGIARConsultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CGMCassava Green Might
CGSMCassava Green Spider Mite
CIATCentro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical
CIRADCentre de cooperation internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement
CMCassava Mealybug
CMDCassava Mosaic Disease
CMPCassava Multiplication Project
CMP-CUCassava Multiplication Project-Coordinating Unit
CMVDCassava Mosaic Virus Disease
COOPROMACoopérative des producteurs de Manioc
CORAF(Conférence des responsables de recherche agronomique africains
COSCACollaborative Study on Cassava in Africa
CPDUCassava Processing Demonstration Unit
CRICrops Research Institute
CSCertified Seeds
DAGRIDirection de l'agriculture, Bénin
DAPSDirection de l'analyse, de la prévision et de la synthèse
EARRNETAfrica Root Crops Research Network
EPHTAEcoregional Programme for the Humid and Subhumid Tropics of Sub-Saharan Africa
ESCaPPEnvironmentally Sustainable Cassava Plant Protection
EUEuropean Union
FAOFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FDAFederal Department of Agriculture
FFAFramework for Action
FGNFederal Government of Nigeria
FIIROFederal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Lagos
FIIROFederal Institute of Industrial Research
FMANRFederal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources
FRIFood Research Institute
FSFoundation Seeds
FSAFaculté des Sciences Agronomique
GCDSGlobal Cassava Development Strategy
GSGlobal Strategy for Cassava Development
GSMGreen Spider Mite
HSTHumid and Subhumid Tropics
IARCInternational Agricultural Research Centre
IBRDInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development
IDAInternational Development Association
IDESSAInstitut des Savannes
IFADInternational Fund for Agricultural Development
IITAInternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture
INRABInstitut national des recherches agricoles du Bénin
INSAHInstitut du Sahel
IPMIntegrated Pest Management
ISTRC-ABInternational Society for Tropical Root Crops - Africa Branch
LGALocal Government Areas
LGBLarger Grain Border
MDRMinistére du dèveloppement rural, Bénin
MOFAMinistry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana
MSADPMulti-State ADP
MSADPMulti-State Agricultural Development Projects
MTADPMedium-Term Agricultural Development Programme
NAEPNational agricultural Extension Project
NAFCONNational Fertilizer Company
NAFPPNational Accelerated Food Production Programme
NARISNational Agricultural Research Institutes
NARONational Agricultural Research Organization
NARPNational Agricultural Research Project
NARSNational Agricultural Research System
NCRPNationally Coordinated Research Programme
NCWSNational Council of Women Societies
NGONon-Governmental Organization
NIYAMCONigerian Yeast and Alcohol Manufacturing Company
NRCRINational Root Crops Research Institute
NRINational Resources Institute
NRTCIPNational Root and Tuber Crops Improvement project
NSPRINational Stored Products Research Institute
NSSNational Seed Service
NTRCIPNational Root and Tuber Crops Improvement Project
OFAROn-Farm Adaptive Research
OFNOperation Feed the Nation
ONASAOffice National d'Appui à la Sécurité Alimentaire
ORSTOMInstitut de recherches scientifiques pour le développement en coopération
PADSAProgramme d'appui au développement du secteur agricole
PADSEProjet d'Appui à la diversification des systèmes d'exploitation
PILSAProgramme d'interventions locales pour la sécurité alimentaire, Bénin
PISEAProjet d'insertion des sans emploi dans l'Agriculture
PRODAProduct Development Agency
PROMICProjet de micro-finances et de commercialisation
PRONAMProgramme national du manioc
RAIDSRural Agro-Industrial Development Scheme
RMRDCRaw Materials Research and Development Council
RRARapid Rural Appraisal
RRPMCRegional Research Project on Maize and Cassava
SACCARSouthern African Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Training
SAPStructural Adjustment Programme
SARRNETSouthern Africa Root Crops Research Network
SDCSwiss Development Corporation
SPATSmall Plot Adaptive Trial tonne
SRDPSmallholder Rehabilitation and Development Programme
SSASub-Saharan Africa
T&VTraining and Visit
TMSTropical Manioc Selection
USSUnited States dollar
WATIWorld Agricultural Trade Indicators

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