Giving Compass' Take:

• Cassava root is helping stimulate local economies because it can grow well in nutrient-poor soil, making it valuable in the face of climate change. 

How can local stakeholders, farmers, and bakery owners create relationships that are sustainable to keep using this crop to build climate resilience? 

• Read the Giving Compass Environmental Issues guide to understand the effects of climate change on crops. 

Research organizations in diverse regions around the world are working with local farmers and bakers to incorporate cassava flour into bread. This food staple is now stimulating local economies and providing additional nutrition while building climate resilience.

Cassava is a woody shrub with edible roots that grows well in tropical and subtropical regions. Its starches are extracted to produce tapioca. Roughly half a billion people in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean depend on cassava for food and income.

The lives of smallholder farmers are improving by increasing productivity and demand. Local economies are benefiting from a greater supply of raw materials. Consumers are enjoying greater nutrition, decreased costs, and more abundance.

The shrub grows well in nutrient-poor soils, requires little water, and can withstand harsh conditions including temperature changes, making it a valuable crop for adapting to climate change.

The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research (CORAF) works with 23 African nations to help coordinate agricultural research and development. CORAF is working with the Union of Bakery Owners of Cote d’Ivoire to develop composite breads.

Read the full article on cassava root by Brian Frederick at Food Tank