The cassava industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion, most notably in Thailand, is a major contributor to national economic output and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. The recent incursion into Thailand (and then into Lao PDR & Cambodia) by the pink mealybug (Phenacoccus manihoti), known also as cassava mealybug (CM), have prompted Greater Mekong Subregions to request FAO technical assistance to prevent spread and manage the CM.
The incursion and spread of the cassava pink mealybug has resulted in loss of farm incomes and threat to the livelihoods of millions of poor cassava farmers, thereby making the issue of poverty alleviation even more critical. On the other hand, the farm environment is increasingly subjected to pesticide contamination while damage to its biodiversity ecosystems aggravated because farmers are forced to apply harmful pesticides to protect their crops. In addition, the farmers themselves and other members of the farming communities are subjected to exposure from hazardous pesticides while the cassava industry (trade, businesses, export and import market) and the society at large destabilised and adversely affected.
Stakeholders and Target beneficiaries
The project has many stakeholders since it has the potential for producing wide-ranging impacts on the environment, rural livelihoods, commercial cassava industry and the society at large. Government departments that are involved in managing crop pests, natural resources and biodiversity would have a direct interest in this project. Furthermore, private traders of agricultural commodities, in particular those involved with cassava-related businesses and export/import market, would also be among the project’s stakeholders. The immediate beneficiaries, however, are the farmers (both male and female) whose livelihoods will be protected and improved, while in the long term, all levels of society would benefit from a more sustainable management of the critical resources linked to cassava.
Strengthening the cassava production industry, improving the livelihoods of cassava farmers, protecting farm communities and the environment from pesticide contamination, preserving the agro-biodiversity and human capital development
Key Project Activities
GIS mapping ; participatory action research, IPM strategy development, Curricula development, Training of trainers, development of cassava IPM-FFS, mass rearing and field releases of Anagyrus lopezi and other biocontrol agents, workshop, regional networking and consultation.
January 2011-December 2013
Total financial size
491,000 US$ (FAO’s contribution)