Cassava is a starchy tuber mainly produced in the tropical and subtropical regions, both north and south of the Equatorial line. The root was first introduced to the African continent between the 16th and 17th centuries by the Portuguese, who brought the stems from Brazil. From the delta of the Congo River, where it was initially planted in Africa, cassava spread throughout the continent and, today, the tuber is cultivated in more than 35 countries in Africa.
In many African countries it became the main source of carbohydrates and has replaced some traditional staples such as millet and yam. Cassava has been successfully incorporated into many farming systems across the continent.