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The Cassava Transformation

Africa's best-kept secret

Felix Nweke

Publication Year: 2002

Cassava is Africa's "poverty fighter" and second most important food crop. This book discusses Cassava's real role and traces research over the past 65 years. The "Cassava transformation" that is now underway in Africa has changed this traditional, reserve crop to a high-yield cash crop. However, Cassava is being neglected by governments and donor agencies because of myths and half-truths about its nutritional value and role in farm systems.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

TItle Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

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Dedication

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pp. v-

Professor Mohammed T. Dahniya-an internationally acclaimed cassava breeder; Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research, Njala, Sierra Leone, from 1988 to 1999; member of the advisory committee of the Collaborative Study of Cassava in Africa (COSCA) from 1989 to 1999; and president of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops-African Branch (ISTRC-AB) from 1992 to 1998-who was murdered by rebels in Sierra Leone in January 1999 and Dr. Muamba Tshiunza, a COSCA researcher from the Congo, who sustained a serious physical injury as a result of an automobile accident in Nigeria....

Contents

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pp. vii-x

Figures

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pp. xi-xii

Tables

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pp. xiii-xv

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Preface

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pp. xvii-xix

The people of Africa are bearing the brunt of food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty. Cassava (manioc or tapioca) was introduced into Africa from South America in the sixteenth century and quickly spread throughout the continent. Today, cassava is the second most important food in the African diet....

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Chapter 1. Cassava and Africa's Food Crisis

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pp. 1-17

Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter Africa) is a continent in crisis; it is racked with hunger, poverty, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Africa is also the region with the fastest population growth, the most fragile natural resource base, and the weakest set of agricultural research and extension institutions. However, when...

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Chapter 2. Myths and Half-Truths

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pp. 19-33

Forty years ago W. O. Jones (1959) reported that cassava was a controversial crop in Africa and the subject of heated disagreement among academic specialists. The advocates of cassava praised it because it produced the largest number of calories per hectare of any crop and could be grown on poor soils and withstand severe attacks of drought, pests, and diseases. These attributes...

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Chapter 3. Cassava's Multiple Roles

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pp. 35-46

Cassava plays a number of different but equally important roles in African development, depending on the stage of the cassava transformation in a particular country. Among these roles are: famine reserve, rural food staple, cash crop, urban food staple, industrial raw material, and livestock feed. However, the bulk of cassava production in Africa is ...

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Chapter 4. Production Overview

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pp. 47-66

In the early 1960s, Brazil was the world's leading cassava producer, while Africa accounted for 40 percent of world production. However, by the early 1990s, Africa produced half of the total world cassava output and Nigeria had replaced Brazil as the leader in cassava production (FAOSTAT). Two forces explain this dramatic growth in cassava. First, demand for cassava has expanded...

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Chapter 5. Genetic Research and the TMS Revolution

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pp. 67-84

We have shown in chapter 5 that the development of high-yielding cassava varieties represents a powerful but incomplete engine of growth of the cassava industry. Ultimately, the adoption and spread of high-yielding varieties will be influenced by the development of improved agronomic practices and labor-saving harvesting technology. This chapter draws on the COSCA findings...

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Chapter 6. Agronomic Practices

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pp. 85-100

We have shown in chapter 5 that the development of high-yielding cassava varieties represents a powerful but incomplete engine of growth of the cassava industry. Ultimately, the adoption and spread of high-yielding varieties will be influenced by the development of improved agronomic practices and labor-saving harvesting technology. This chapter...

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Chapter 7. Diffusion of TMS Varieties

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pp. 101-114

In chapter 5, we concluded that TMS varieties are superior to local varieties in terms of yield, earliness of bulking, and resistance to pests and diseases. The TMS varieties are also at least as good as the local varieties in terms of cyanogen content, ease of processing, cooking quality of fresh roots, and the quality of processed products such as gari. This chapter examines the factors...

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Chapter 8. The Preparation of Five cassava Products (includes images)

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pp. 115-127

Both cassava leaves and roots are prepared as food by different methods in different places in Africa. Simple preparation methods have evolved over time to eliminate cyanogens from cassava roots and leaves in order to make them safe for consumption. These methods are also effective in removing water from cassava roots, which...

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Chapter 9. Mechanized Processing

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pp. 129-139

We pointed out in chapters 5 and 6 that farmers in Nigeria who planted the TMS varieties had difficulties in recruiting labor for harvesting and manual processing. In order to eliminate hand pounding and reduce processing costs, research has been carried out in Nigeria and several other countries to develop mechanized processing machines. In this chapter we shall trace the evolution of public and private attempts to develop improved...

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Chapter 10. Gender Surprises

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pp. 141-152

The gender debate mushroomed in Africa in the 1970s following the publication of Esther Boserup's influential Womens Role in Economic Development (1970). Boserup, a Danish social scientist, provided an array of evidence to show that women in developing countries play significant roles in agricultural and rural development and that Africa was the region of female farming ...

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Chapter 11. Consumption

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pp. 153-166

Cassava is a major source of calories for roughly two out of every five Africans.1 However, many international agencies and bilateral donors are hesitant to extend loans and grants to African nations to help them increase the production of root crops such as cassava because of the long held wrong belief that cassava is an "inferior good," that is, that the per capita consumption...

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Chapter 12. New Uses for Cassava: A Nigerian Case Study

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pp. 167-184

We pointed out in chapter 1 that Nigeria is the most advanced of the six COSCA countries in the cassava transformation (table 1.1). Nigeria is now poised to move to the next stage, namely the feed and industrial raw material stage. Yet the transformation will not continue unless new markets are identified to absorb the increase in cassava production....

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Chapter 13. The Cassava Transformation: Synthesis

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pp. 185-202

Africa's food crisis is a stubborn problem. Africa became a net food importer in the early 1970s, and food production grew at half of the population growth rate from 1970 to 1985. Africa's population is expected to double to 1.2 billion by 2020, and its urban population will grow at a faster rate. The average per capita GNP in Africa in the year 2000 was US$480 (World Bank 2000)....

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Appendix 1. Methods of the COSCA Study

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pp. 203-214

The COSCA study was carried out under the direction of the Project Leader, Professor Felix I. Nweke. The study was administratively based at the Resource and Crop Management Division (RCMD), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (lITA) Ibadan, Nigeria. The COSCA project was designed...

Appendix 2. List of COSCA Collaborators

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pp. 215-217

Appendix 3. List of COSCA Reports

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pp. 219-222

Appendix 4. Demand Function Specifications

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pp. 223-226

Notes

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pp. 227-238

References

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pp. 239-257

About the Authors

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pp. 259-260

Index

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pp. 261-273


E-ISBN-13: 9781609172831
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870136023

Page Count: 273
Publication Year: 2002