Tropical Plant Biology

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 30–38 | Cite as

Examining Cassava’s Potential to Enhance Food Security Under Climate Change



Approximately 925 million people are undernourished and almost 90% of these people live in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Asia and the Pacific. Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, continues to have the highest proportion of chronically hungry individuals, where 1 in 3 (ca. 240 million) are undernourished in terms of both food quantity and nutrition. The threat of substantial changes in climate raises concerns about future capacity to sustain even current levels of food availability because climate change will impact food security most severely in regions where undernourishment is already problematic. Estimates of future climate change impacts on crops vary widely, particularly in Africa, due in part to a lack of agricultural and meteorological data. To more accurately predict future climate change impacts on food security we must first precisely assess the impact of climate change drivers on crops of food insecure regions. Recent advances in biofortification, a substantial yield gap, and an inherent potential to respond positively to globally increasing CO2 levels are synergistic and encouraging for cassava in an otherwise bleak global view of the future of food security in the developing world.


Manihot esculenta Cassava Elevated CO2 Tropospheric ozone Food shortages Global change Root crop 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA)  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit, Institute for Genomic Biology, and Department of Plant BiologyUSDA and University of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit, Institute for Genomic Biology, and Departments of Plant Biology and Crop SciencesUSDA and University of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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