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Concentrating on Cassava

Cassava health

Each month we will be highlighting some particularly interesting chapters from the Burleigh Dodds academic publishing company’s agricultural science database, which is available free to members until the end of June 2022.

Just login and visit our Crops Collection member page to access the full collection, then search for the hand-selected chapters below.

This month we are focusing on cassava…

Developing new cassava varieties: tools, techniques and strategies

Ceballos, Dr Hernán; Morante, Nelson; Calle, Fernando; Lenis, Jorge; Salazar, Sandra

The significance of cassava as a crop in tropical countries means that developing improved varieties is key to the sustainability of cassava production. This chapter examines how understanding the utilization of cassava can inform breeding objectives for developing improved varieties of cassava. It addresses the ways through which cassava can be bred and selected to resist common pests and diseases and examines the selection criteria used for breeding. The chapter analyses in detail the correlation between phenotypic characteristics and traits of cassava, as well as including a discussion of the relevance of breeding value. The chapter suggests a number of potential future trends in research in this area.


Cassava cultivation in sub-Saharan Africa

Spencer, Dr Dunstan S. C.; Ezedinma, Chuma

In sub-Saharan Africa, cassava is cultivated under a wide range of ecological and agronomic conditions. Cassava’s adaptability to relatively marginal soils and erratic rainfall conditions, its high productivity per unit of land and labour, the certainty of obtaining some yield even under the most adverse conditions and the possibility of maintaining continuity of supply throughout the year make the crop very adaptable to rain-fed agriculture conditions. This chapter describes the current state of cassava production in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as its contribution to incomes and food and nutrition security. The chapter considers the main drivers of change for cassava production in the region.


Breeding cassava to meet consumer preferences for product quality

Abass, Adebayo; Awoyale, Wasiu; Sanni, Lateef; Shittu, Taofik

New, high-yielding varieties have transformed cassava from a low-yielding, famine-reserve crop to a high-yielding cash crop for both rural and urban consumers in Africa. The opportunity provided by this high yield in terms of lower production cost per hectare has made cassava a potential crop for large-scale or commercial-scale production. This chapter looks at the range of uses of cassava and what this means for target properties in breeding new varieties. It reviews the range of quality preferences amongst farmers, and a range of nutritional, sensory, processing and product properties that could be used in setting future breeding priorities for cassava.

Cassava diseased

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