Impact simulations indicate that root and tubers will play economically important and increasingly diversified roles in developing country food systems over the next two decades (2020 vision by IFPRI and CIP: Gregory J.Scott, Mark W. Rosegrant, Claudia Ringler 2000). Vietnam is a classic example of how cassava can contribute to rural industrialization and development. Previously, people were reluctant to grow cassava because they thought that cassava caused soil degradation and produced low profits. But in reality one hectare of cassava can produce 60-80 tones of fresh roots and leaves. The situation has changed because of the development of sustainable cultivation techniques and new high-yielding varieties with the availability of a large and growing market demand. Cassava has become a cash crop in many provinces of Vietnam. Cassava chips and starch is now being produced competitively, and cassava markets are promising. The combination of wide spread production of fresh cassava roots and the processing of cassava into chips starch and ethanol has created many jobs, has increased exports, attracted foreign investment, and contributed to industrialization and modernization of several rural areas.
After eighteen years of development (1991-2008), intensive cassava research and extension have changed cassava from being a food crop to being an industrial crop. Vietnam cassava starch is now very promising for export and domestic use. VNCP was agreed to emphasize the following seven topics:
1) Determination of an appropriate strategy for cassava research and development
2) Selection of cassava doubled haploid lines derived from materials of CIAT and applying mutation in cassava breeding; Selection and dissemination of high-yielding varieties with high starch contents; Selection and development varieties with high root yield, short duration and improvement of quality and nutritional valua of cassava.
3) Research on integrated cultivation techniques and transfer of appropriate cultivation techniques to farmers to increase the productivity and economic efficiency of cassava production in different eco-regions.
4) Cooperation with processing factories in establishing areas with a stable source of raw materials; Use of cassava for bio- ethanol.
5) Research on the development of cassava processing technologies; Use of cassava leaves and roots in animal feeds and food processing.
6) Structural improvement and development of the extension network.
7 Development of local and export markets for cassava products.