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Developing cassava production and marketing systems to enhance smallholder livelihoods in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar

This project aims to identify the socio-economic conditions under which improved technology and market booms in commercial crops such as cassava can make smallholder farming systems in mainland Southeast Asia more profitable and sustainable and thereby reduce poverty.
Smallholders and large companies in Cambodia and Laos invest in cassava production, supplying value chains across Southeast Asia.
Commercial crops like cassava have increased smallholder cash incomes, but the market outlook for cassava is linked to supply and demand in global starch, grain, and energy markets. This exposes smallholders to new risks and threats to their livelihoods, especially when they have borrowed heavily to embark on this enterprise.
Better value-chain linkages between smallholders and industry actors could make the cassava industry more productive, profitable, and sustainable. A multi-scale appreciation of farming systems and livelihoods, value-chains, and policies and institutions is needed to understand incentives and constraints to adopting improved production and marketing practices critical to developing a sustainable smallholder sector.