Starch is a heterogeneous commodity used in the manufacture of many food and non-food products. Market demand for starch is strongly and positively correlated with average per capita income. In Asia, root and tuber crops (cassava, sweetpotato and potato) supply most of the starch used by industries. Because starch processing of root and tuber crops is usually done in rural areas due to their perishability and bulkiness, starch processing is an important rural agro-industry. Small firms coexist with large starch mills to provide intermediate processing despite diseconomies of scale. Policies also influence trade in starch and industrial organization of starch processing.
Social Sciences Working Paper No. 2006-3. International PotatoCenter (CIP), Lima, Peru. 2006. 28 pp.