Current Status

Cassava Value Chain Status in ASEAN


Cassava cultivation has experienced significant growth in several Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. These nations have made notable strides in cassava production, processing, and waste management. However, they also face unique challenges that need to be addressed for sustained growth in the cassava sector. 


Cassava Cultivation in ASEAN 

Cassava cultivation has emerged as a major crop in Southeast Asia, with each country experiencing varying levels of success. 

  • Cambodia has seen a surge in cassava cultivation since 2006, with the majority of production occurring in the Tonle Sap and Lower Mekong Plain zones. Despite challenges such as limited technical knowledge among farmers, the government has initiated policies and programs to promote commercial cassava production and improve cultivation practices. 
  • Laos has embraced cassava cultivation due to its favorable climate and has consistently outperformed neighboring countries in terms of yield per hectare. However, the industry faces challenges related to diseases and pests, which require concerted efforts to address. 
  • Myanmar has a long history of cassava cultivation, primarily following traditional methods. Challenges include limited access to finance, lack of high-yield cassava varieties, and market instability. Government initiatives in some regions are working to promote cassava as an economically important crop. 
  • Thailand is a global leader in cassava production, with a focus on cassava starch processing and exports. Challenges include labor shortages, low productivity, and environmental factors. The government is actively supporting initiatives to increase cassava production through technology adoption and modern farming practices. 
  • Vietnam has transformed cassava into a vital income source for small farmers. The country ranks second globally in cassava exports, with China as the primary market. Challenges include low yields, diseases, and pollution during processing. Government policies and initiatives support cassava cultivation and energy security through renewable sources. 

Challenges and Opportunities 

Across these Southeast Asian countries, several common challenges and opportunities emerge: 

  • Challenges: Limited technical knowledge among farmers, market uncertainties, low productivity, diseases and pests (such as Cassava Mosaic Disease), environmental concerns, and labor shortages are shared challenges. These challenges hinder optimal cassava farming practices and pose risks to the sustainability of the cassava industry in the region. 
  • Opportunities: Southeast Asian countries can explore opportunities for innovation and modern technology adoption, such as mechanization and smart farming practices. Expanding participation in the cassava value chain beyond production, implementing on-farm mechanization, and establishing trade agreements can create new opportunities for growth. 

Government Initiatives and Support 

Government policies and initiatives play a crucial role in promoting cassava cultivation in these countries. They include: 

  • Supporting commercial cassava production and value chain development.
  • Investing in research and development to enhance cultivation techniques and disease control.
  • Promoting knowledge transfer and capacity building for farmers.
  • Addressing market instability through trade agreements and policy support. 


Cassava cultivation in Southeast Asian countries has witnessed substantial growth, driven by favorable climates and government support. However, shared challenges, such as limited technical knowledge and disease threats, must be addressed to ensure the sustainability and continued growth of the cassava sector. Opportunities for innovation and modern technology adoption offer a path forward, along with a focus on enhancing knowledge transfer and expanding participation in the cassava value chain. Government policies and initiatives will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of cassava cultivation in the region. 


Cassava processing in ASEAN 

The cassava industry in Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, has experienced significant growth in recent years, contributing to the region's economies. This summary provides an overview of the current status and key factors influencing cassava cultivation, processing, and waste management in these countries, along with a focus on opportunities and challenges. 


  • Cassava has become Cambodia's second-largest crop, contributing to its GDP. 
  • The cassava sector involves over 90,000 rural households in 13 provinces. 
  • Challenges include high production costs, low market prices, and transportation issues. 
  • Opportunities include expanding exports and promoting by-products' use. 
  • Strategies for knowledge and technology transfer are essential for sustainable growth. 

Laos PDR

  • Cassava plays a crucial role in Laos' economy, benefiting impoverished farmers.
  • Laos exports cassava chips and starch primarily to neighboring countries. 
  • Challenges include price fluctuations, logistic costs, natural disasters, and disease spread. 
  • Government initiatives support cassava cultivation and exports. 
  • Innovation and modern technology adoption are crucial for growth. 


  • Cassava starch processing occurs in Ayeyarwaddy Region and Kachin State. 
  • Challenges include the lack of modern machinery, limited financial access, and unstable prices. 
  • Government policies and international interest offer opportunities. 
  • Strategies for knowledge and technology transfer are necessary. 
  • SWOT analysis highlights strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 


  • Thailand's cassava starch production involves modern and traditional methods. 
  • Cassava starch has versatile applications in various industries. 
  • Challenges include diseases, urbanization, rising costs, and competition. 
  • Government policies offer opportunities for cassava products. 
  • Innovation and modern technology adoption enhance efficiency. 


  • Vietnam has a significant cassava starch industry with various processing scales. 
  • Cassava starch finds applications in multiple industries. 
  • Native cassava starch processing methods vary from manual to modern. 
  • Biofuels are a focus for Vietnam's energy security. 
  • Strategies for knowledge and technology transfer are vital for growth. 


Cassava cultivation and processing in Southeast Asian countries are crucial contributors to their economies. While opportunities for growth exist, challenges such as price fluctuations, production costs, and technology adoption need to be addressed. Government support, innovation, and knowledge transfer strategies play pivotal roles in realizing the full potential of the cassava value chain in the region. 


Cassava Waste Management in ASEAN 

This summary provides an overview of the cassava value chain and the challenges and opportunities related to cassava cultivation, processing, and waste management in Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. It highlights the environmental and health concerns associated with cassava waste and explores innovative biogas technology as a solution. Additionally, it discusses government initiatives and the SWOT analysis for biogas technology adoption in these countries. 

Cassava Waste Management  

Cassava processing in the studied Southeast Asian countries generates significant waste in both solid and liquid forms, posing environmental and health risks. Solid waste, mainly from cassava chip processing, holds potential for use in agriculture and animal production when managed correctly. However, liquid waste poses a risk of water pollution and unpleasant odors, affecting nearby communities. Many cassava processing plants have waste management systems but often fail to meet technical specifications, leading to uncontrolled discharges during rainy seasons. 

Innovation and Modern Technology

Cassava processing factories employ diverse technologies and heating sources, resulting in various waste types and quantities. Technologies such as rice husk, black oil, or firewood contribute to unpleasant odors and pollution. Cassava chip processing adds to the waste issue with dust pollution, solid waste, and odors. Approximately 20 kg of waste is generated from processing one ton of fresh cassava root. 

The National Biodigester Programme (NBP) initiated in Cambodia offers a sustainable solution by promoting domestic biodigesters for agricultural and animal waste management. Over 28,000 biodigesters have been installed, providing economic, health, environmental, and social benefits. Domestic biogas reduces fuel expenses, improves soil productivity through bio-slurry, and lowers healthcare costs. It also benefits employment and environmental conservation. 

Government Initiatives

Governments in these countries have implemented policies to promote sustainable cassava production and access to global markets, recognizing the importance of the cassava sector in their economies. 

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis of biogas technology identifies strengths like favorable soil conditions and potential expansion. Weaknesses include limited resources, coordination challenges, and technical expertise gaps. Opportunities involve improving farmer access to credit, supporting sustainable cassava production, and creating eco-friendly cassava products. Threats consist of limited government involvement, inadequate research resources, and technology transfer difficulties. 


In summary, cassava processing in Southeast Asia generates significant waste, posing environmental and health risks. The adoption of domestic biogas production offers numerous benefits, including economic, health, environmental, and social advantages. To nurture this sector, increased awareness, knowledge dissemination, financial support, and policy backing are crucial for its sustainability and the overall cassava industry's well-being. Additionally, government policies and collaboration are vital for efficient cassava waste management and the growth of renewable energy solutions like biogas technology.