IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jsusta/v2y2010i11p3572-3607d10292.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cassava: The Drought, War and Famine Crop in a Changing World

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Burns

    () (School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Monash University, Wellington Rd, Clayton, 3800 Victoria, Australia)

  • Roslyn Gleadow

    () (School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Monash University, Wellington Rd, Clayton, 3800 Victoria, Australia)

  • Julie Cliff

    () (Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University, C.P. 257, Maputo, Mozambique)

  • Anabela Zacarias

    () (Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique), P.O. Box 3658 Mavalane, Maputo, Mozambique)

  • Timothy Cavagnaro

    () (School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Monash University, Wellington Rd, Clayton, 3800 Victoria, Australia
    Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Wellington Rd, Clayton, 3800 Victoria, Australia)

Abstract

Cassava is the sixth most important crop, in terms of global annual production. Cassava is grown primarily for its starchy tuberous roots, which are an important staple for more than 800 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in other parts of Africa, Asia, the Pacific and South America. Cassava is important for both small-scale farmers and larger-scale plantations due to its low requirement for nutrients, ability to tolerate dry conditions and easy low-cost propagation. It is sometimes referred to as the “drought, war and famine crop of the developing world” and reliance upon this crop is expected to increase in the coming years as the global climate changes. As with all crops, cassava presents some challenges which need to be addressed, especially if its production is to continue to expand. We highlight here a number of key issues around the continued and increased reliance upon cassava as a staple food crop. Cassava contains cyanogenic glycosides that release hydrogen cyanide and many cultivars are toxic if not processed before consumption. The degree of toxicity is altered by plant breeding, agricultural practice, environmental conditions and methods of food preparation. We conclude that use of cassava has the potential to help many countries achieve food security in a sustainable manner, in the face of significant environmental change, but that its introduction should be accompanied by appropriate education about its toxicity.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Burns & Roslyn Gleadow & Julie Cliff & Anabela Zacarias & Timothy Cavagnaro, 2010. "Cassava: The Drought, War and Famine Crop in a Changing World," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(11), pages 1-36, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:11:p:3572-3607:d:10292
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/11/3572/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/11/3572/
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Daryanto, Stefani & Wang, Lixin & Jacinthe, Pierre-André, 2017. "Global synthesis of drought effects on cereal, legume, tuber and root crops production: A review," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 18-33.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cassava; cyanide; food security; drought; carbon dioxide; Manihot esculenta ; sustainable agriculture; nitrogen use efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:11:p:3572-3607:d:10292. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: http://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.