Cassava is an important starchy staple crop in Ghana with per capita consumption of 152.9 kg/year. Besides being a staple food crop, cassava can be used as raw material for the production of industrial starch and ethanol. In Ghana, cassava is cultivated as a monocrop or intercropped with other food crops, either as the dominant or subsidiary crop. In terms of quantity produced, cassava is the most important root crop in Ghana followed by yams and cocoyams, but cassava ranks second to maize in terms of area planted.

The production of cassava in Ghana ranged from 10,217,929 MT to 12,260,330 MT in the period 2007–2009 covering an area of 800,531 ha to 885,800 ha. Ghana currently produces about 12,260,000 MT of cassava annually. Out of this, 8,561,700 MT is available for human consumption while national consumption is estimated at only 3,672,700 MT resulting in surplus of about 4,889,000 MT which can be exploited for the production of industrial starch or ethanol.

Despite its importance, the potential of cassava as an industrial crop has not been exploited to any appreciable extent in Ghana, with the perception that cassava depletes soils. However, recent studies in the forest/savannah transitional agroecological zone as well as the semideciduous forest zone of Ghana have demonstrated that, when integrated in the cropping system as a form of rotation, cassava has the potential of maintaining soil fertility.


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