Cassava is a staple food crop cultivated in several developing countries, largely by small farmers. It is a source of subsistence and of cash income to poor farmers as well as a source of rural employment, particularly of women. During the past 20 years, production of cassava expanded rapidly in Asia, especially in Thailand, in response to expanded demand for imports by the European Community, where it is used as livestock feed. There are concerns, however, about the likely decline in demand for cassava as food as incomes rise in developing countries and also about the stability of the European demand. To assess the prospects for cassava in the future, IFPRI has examined the trends and prospects for production, utilization , and trade in Third World countries, under a special project partially funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. In addition to the analyses of international data at the global and regional levels, case studies were taken up in six countries: India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand in Asia and Nigeria and Zaire in Sub-Saharan Africa. Analyses of cassava's situation and prospects in Africa were done at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, and those for Latin America at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (C1AT), Cali, Colombia.
The results of these studies were discussed at a workshop in Washington, D.C. in August 1987, where project researchers, selected cassava scientists, and representatives of international organizations participated. The results of the individual case studies are being published separately as a series of working papers. This volume presents the proceedings of the workshop and includes the papers and summaries of the case studies discussed. -- from author's abstract