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Cassava: Background

General Introduction Next to yam, cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a commonly produced tuber crop in Africa. It can be used as food and as a cash crop, feed for animals and as a source of industrial raw material. In sub-Saharan Africa, cassava is mostly used for human consumption in various forms ranging from boiling the fresh tuber to processing it into cassava flour. Cassava tubers are an important source of carbohydrates while the leaves, eaten as a vegetable, are a good source of protein and vitamins. Cassava is grown mostly by small-holder farmers as an important food and as a cash crop. According to FAO’s estimates, the average fresh tuber yield of cassava under traditional farming practices in sub-Saharan Africa ranges between 5 and 8 tons per hectare. This is much lower than its potential yield capacity of 40 to 60 tons per hectare. Challenges facing cassava production in Africa Low productivity - Although cassava is an important crop with multiple uses, it does not receive the m

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