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FAO policy brief: “Save and Grow: Cassava - a guide to sustainable production intensification”

The report Save and grow: Cassava is a 140 page guide for farmers and policy makers alike, showing how “Save and Grow” can help cassava growers avoid the risks of intensification, while realizing the crop’s potential for producing higher yields. This in turn, is described as a pathway for alleviating hunger and rural poverty, and contributing to national economic development. This is the first in a series of guides on the practical application of FAO’s ecosystem-based model of agriculture, which aims at improving productivity while conserving natural resources.

The guide warns that as the demand for cassava is booming, farmers should avoid a shift to intensive monocropping since this carries risks such as pest and disease upsurges, and the depletion of soil nutrients. Instead FAO urges for a focus on “Save and Grow” practices that:

  • Maintain healthy soil
  • Cultivate a wider range of crop species and varieties in associations, rotations and sequences
  • Use well-adapted, high-yielding varieties and good quality seed
  • Manage water efficiently to obtain more crops per drop
  • Control pests through integrated pest management


FAO, Save and Grow: Cassava - A guide to sustainable production intensification,  2013, ISBN 978-92-5-107641-5

Read the full FAO report on Cassava here. You can also download a summary here. You can also order a printed copy of the guide by writing to

Read more about Cassava here and climate resistant crops here. We also have some specific information on resilience here. You will also find a lot of resources relating to sustainable intensification here.

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