FAO Approach Leads to Sustainable Increases in Cassava Farming

FAO28 May 2013: In a new field guide, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) promotes the application of the FAO's 'Save and Grow' approach to cassava, documenting significant potential to scale up production with limited chemical inputs.

The Save and Grow approach reduces soil disturbance, encourages protective vegetation cover over soil, and promotes mixed cropping and crop rotation, as well as integrated pest management. The FAO highlights success of the approach in Viet Nam, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia, while highlighting the potential for cassava to move beyond its reputation as a poor people's staple food.

The publication notes that increased demand for cassava is partially driven by the current high level of cereal prices, that its uses for feedstock and biofuel are increasing, and that cassava is highly resilient to climate change. The publication represents the first in a series of guides on the practical application of the Save and Grow model. [FAO Press Release] [Publication: Save and Grow: Cassava: A Guide to Sustainable Production Intensification]