Cassava roots © Gustavo, Adobe Stock

Roots and tubers

Tropical starchy root crops and tubers – cassava, sweet potato, yam and dasheen –, or "RTs", play a vital role in food security for populations in tropical zones, against a backdrop of population growth and rapid urbanization, particularly in Africa. CIRAD has substantial expertise in these value chains, ranging from genomics to postharvest technology through varietal improvement, plant health, cropping systems and value chain economics. CIRAD's approach is multidisciplinary and often innovative.

Books and documents

  • Tropical Root and Tuber Crops Cassava, Sweet Potato, Yams and Aroids
    2nd edition. 2020. Vincent Lebot, Cirad. Cabi, 515p
    Aims to bring together in a single work the state of the art on the origins and history, taxonomy and botany, genetics and improvement, physiology, agronomy, pests and diseases, post-harvest quality and marketing for root and tuber plant species (cassava, sweet potato, yams and aroids).
    RTBfoods website

Production guides

Guides to good phytosanitary practice published by COLEACP/PIP.
COLEACP is an international network working to foster sustainable development of the horticultural trade. PIP is a European cooperation programme led by COLEACP.

Roadmap summary

Scientific publications

See CIRAD's publications on roots and tubers