Cassava

Cassava

Cassava (Manihot utilissima) is an important food crop, particularly in places where the soil is relatively poor or in times of food scarcity. It is also an important export commodity in the form of pellets and chips. The plant is widely cultivated in the country either as a monoculture or in a multiple-cropping system. It does not need special attention or large capital input.

Since only the roots are collected, harvesting cassava yields large quantities of residue in the form of woody stems, leaves, and soft plant parts.

The roots are usually further processed into pellets, chips, or tapioca flour. The processing generates residues as peels and tapioca flour wastes.

Most of the woody stems are generally burned as fuel, while the soft plant parts and leaves - particularly those of non-toxic varieties - are fed to cattle or left on the soil as a conditioner and fertilizer. A significant amount is also used as green fodder, which has good feed values, containing 26 per cent dry matter, 23.1 per cent crude protein, and 13.86 per cent digestible crude protein.

Significant proportions of the peels are fed to cattle, and contain about 5.3 per cent crude protein, 20.9 per cent crude fiber, 1.6 per cent ether extracts, 65.7 per cent nitrogen-free extract, and 6.1 per cent ash. Most of the peels, however, are not used.

The bulk of the flour waste is used as a component of feedstuff. It contains about 90.3 per cent dry matter, 5.6 per cent crude protein, and 3.73 per cent digestible protein.

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