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Will cassava remain a staple food in the Congo?

Though cassava was only introduced into Central Africa three centuries ago it now supplies approximately one-half of food energy requirements in Zaire, the Congo and the Central African Republic. Over the past 15 years urbanization in the Congo has brought about changes in the use of cassava. These changes concern children's food more than adult diets and involve the replacement of cassava pap with maize pap, the substitution of cassava with bread for the early morning meal and the consumption of foufou instead of chikwangue at lunch and dinner. These changes are mainly a question of differences in urban and rural supplies and prices as well as convenience.

Cassava is likely to remain a staple food in the Congo for some time yet given the area under cassava, its enduring consumer appeal and the problems involved in developing other crops. However, research is needed to overcome a number of technological constraints on cassava's capacity to meet "both the quantitative and qualitative needs of the population.

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