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This publication presents a review of cassava in Asia with country case studies on Thailand and Viet Nam as well as the conclusions of the Regional Consultation on the Global Cassava Strategy. Secretary of National Root Crops Program. CIAT Is the vietnamese dong a good investment Asian Regional Program, Dept. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Cassava plays an important socio-economic role as a secondary crop in Viet Nam.

In South Viet Nam cassava is predominantly used as a raw material for processing into a wide range of products, both at the household and small-scale processor level, generating employment in the rural sector. Soil fertility problems are also important. Processing is constrained, especially by raw material supply fluctuations and quality. Cassava varietal dissemination in Viet Nam has made rapid and consistent progress. Viet Nam now has favourable conditions for cassava development.

During the coming years the cassava planting area in Viet Nam will not be increased, but will remain within the range of 200 000 to 300 000 ha. However, cassava yields will increase by the adoption of new cassava varieties and more intensive cultural practices. On-farm research and transfer of technology for cassava production are key factors for cassava development. They are an important bridge linking science with production.

INTRODUCTION Cassava sustains the lives of an estimated 500 million people in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The crop has a great potential for food security, not only at the family but also at the community as well as at national levels in many countries. Cassava has many advantages compared to cereal crops, in terms of drought tolerance, pest and disease resistance, adaptation to poor soils and an indeterminate harvest period. Cassava processing at the household level is an important income generator in poor rural areas, particularly for women, not only-in Africa but also in Latin America and Asia.

Viet Nam ranks thirteenth in cassava production in the world. 37 million tonnes and in 1996 it was about 2. However, Viet Nam is the fourth in export of cassava products in the world, after Thailand, Indonesia and China. 1994 and increased up to 150 thousand tonnes in 1997.

Viet Nam to help formulate a global cassava research and development strategy by IFAD. The objective of this study is to analyse the past and present situation of cassava in Viet Nam, with a view to describing the lessons learned from past development interventions and their implications for a strategy of future investment in cassava research and development. CASSAVA PRODUCTION IN VIET NAM 2. 1 Soils, topography and climate Viet Nam is a humid tropical, long and narrow country, located between latitudes 8. The narrowest part is only 40 km wide. Toward the east lies the sea and towards the west the Truong Son Mountain range. The terrain is highly varied and tends to slope down towards the sea.

The soils of Viet Nam are closely associated with its topography. Large areas of Inceptisols are found mainly in the Mekong and Red River deltas as well as along smaller rivers and near the coast. The more recently developed Entisols are found mainly along riverbanks and along the coast. Rocky soils are prevalent in Ha Son Binh and Ha Bac provinces. Cassava is grown mainly in areas with ondulating and hilly topography. Cassava production areas in seven agro-ecological zones in Viet Nam in 1997.

Each dot represents 1 000 ha cassava. Adopted from FAO World Soil Map by R. In South Viet Nam most cassava soils are sandy in the Central Coastal area and in the Southeastern Region, while rocky soils predominate in Gia Lai-Kon Turn and are also common in Dac Lac province. The cassava growing areas in the provinces of the Central Highlands have a similar topography. In the Central Coastal Region and in the Southeastern Region, cassava is grown mainly on white-grey soils or coastal sandy soils. Flooded rice is by far the most important, having an area of 7.

09 million ha and a production of about 27. Other food crops are grown on 1. 17 million ha, with a production of 2. Cassava is among the four most important crops in Viet Nam. Adapted from Agro-climatic map of SE Asia. Production of principle crops in Viet Nam in 1997.

This decline occurred throughout the country, but particularly in the southern part of South Viet Nam, where cassava had to compete with more valuable crops. Cassava is grown mainly by small farmers, but there are several state-farms of over a thousand hectares in the country. The yield of cassava in Viet Nam has been increasing slightly, but is still very low. Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ha Bac, Hoa Binh and Vinh Phu provinces.

3 Cassava cultural practices Land preparation: Cassava land preparation methods vary among agro-ecological regions. On the sloping soils of the mountainous regions of both North and South Viet Nam, most cassava fields are plowed once, while in the Red River Delta and the North and South Central Coastal Regions they are plowed twice. Cassava area, production and yield in Viet Nam from 1976 to 1997. In the provinces of the North Mountainous Region and Red River Delta, the planting is done from February to April, when soil moisture increases due to spring rains. Stake preparation and storage: Almost in every region farmers use their own cassava stems for planting. Only a few buy their stakes, mainly the medium- and large-scale farmers of Tay Ninh and Khanh Hoa provinces.