Cassava Culture
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Francis Folarin
Posted on: February 26, 2009

I am mailing in the name of our organization here in Nigeria. We are into agro/agricultural products and we are particularly focusing on the spice of cassava used for flour products. How do you plant it, how do you protect it from pests, how do you preserve it, and how do you process it for storage?

We do not offer cassava, but on doing some research on the plant, I found it is a shrubby perennial which produces a long starchy root that is used for making starchy products such as tapioca (grind the dried root), chips and any other product for which potatoes would be used in our part of the world. The plant likes poor soil and should not be fertilized, but better yields are obtained when humus is incorporated into the soil. The plant needs full sun and will only grow at temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The leaves can be eaten as a vegetable.

There are many pests attacking cassava. I would recommend biological controls for them or spray with neem oil. This would work for the mites, mealy bugs and scale insects and possibly even the striped grasshopper. For rodents and wild fowl cats would be of some help. Constant vigilance will be needed since many animals have discovered how nutritious cassava is!

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