Monday, August 9, 2010

August Food Month: Cassava

During August, we are highlighting food from around the world and Kiva entrepreneurs who are using their loans for food-related endeavors. Cassava is the subject of our next post…

It’s an essential source of food for millions of people around the world (including many Kiva entrepreneurs), it’s the world’s third largest source of calories (after rice and wheat), it’s what tapioca is made from, and is an incredibly versatile shrub that is cultivated on many continents; can you name this crop?

If you guessed Cassava, Yuca, Manioc or one of its many other names, you’re right!

In fact, a number of Kiva entrepreneurs seek loans that are directly related to Cassava be it growing, buying or selling it. In Central and South America it’s called Yuca and is commonly used like a potato – fried, mashed, or baked. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is often ground into flour, then boiled to a soft, polenta-like consistency called “fufu” which can then be eaten with other foods or made into dumplings for soup. In Southeast Asia, it frequently takes the form of tapioca and is used as a food thickener or made into bite-size pearls that are found in teas and juices.

Make a loan to a Kiva entrepreneur today and help to continue the growth of this vital crop!