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

David M. Rosenthal, Donald Richard Ort

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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 CO 2 levels are synergistic and encouraging for cassava in an otherwise bleak global view of the future of food security in the developing world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalTropical Plant Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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