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Developing value-chain linkages to enhance the adoption of profitable and sustainable cassava production systems in Vietnam and Indonesia

This project aims to make smallholder cassava production in Vietnam and Indonesia more profitable and sustainable, by linking value-chain actors to increase the adoption of improved technologies.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important crop in Southeast Asia for both rural livelihoods and regional economic development. Cassava production is largely commercial to meet regional demand for animal feed, starch products, and biofuel. Vietnam is the world's second largest exporter of cassava products (starch and dried chips); it grows over 500,000 hectares of cassava, and generates over US$ 1 billion per year in export earnings. Indonesia is the second largest importer of cassava starch in the world, even though it cultivates more than a million hectares of cassava.
Cassava production, given its agronomic robustness, is well suited to resource-poor farmers living in marginal upland areas, who often belong to ethnic minority groups. Its cultivation provides cash income for these upland households, contributing to their food security and livelihoods. The crop grows in marginal conditions but responds well to improved management, and yield gaps have been identified both within and between regions. The cultivation of cassava offers a profitable livelihood opportunity, provided it is managed sustainably and that farmers are adequately linked to both input and output markets.
Despite its economic importance, the industry's sustainability is under pressure from soil erosion, declining soil fertility, emerging pests and diseases, and labour costs. While global demand is strong, connections with several global commodity markets make it highly variable, exposing farmers to considerable risk. Infrastructure and logistics problems also affect the sector.