Cassava: a staple crop for millions

Ghana: women peeling cassava roots
FAO/18293/P. Cenini

Cassava is an essential part of the diet of more than half a billion people. Cassava roots are high in calories, and the leaves are a good source of protein and vitamins A and B.

Subsistence farmers have long appreciated the benefits of cultivating cassava. The plants can grow in poor soils on marginal lands with minimal amounts of fertilizer, pesticides and water. Because the roots can be harvested any time from 8 to 24 months after planting, they are an important safeguard against unexpected food shortages.

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More photos on cassava:
  • Malawi: a scientist examines a cassava plant
  • Ghana: women pressing cassava pulp

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