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Saturday, February 14, 2009


Cassava is one of the important source of food, feed and starch among Filipinos. Is known to perform well even under unfavorable growing condition such as drought and poor soils. Though less government support, cassava contributes around 2% of gross value added in agriculture. This crop is endowed with especial capacity to contribute to the development of food security and poverty alleviation in the country. Cassava is the third largest source of carbohydrates for human food in the world, with Africa its largest center of production. The flour made of the roots is called tapioca. Cassava is harvested by hand by raising the lower part of stem and pulling the roots out of the ground, then removing them from the base of the plant . The upper parts of the stems with the leaves are plucked off before harvest. Cassava is propagated by cutting the stem into sections of approximately 15 cm, these being planted prior to the wet season. Traditionally the Cassava root, after maturing, is left in the ground and harvested when needed. This "underground storage practice" has many disadvantages because it makes land unavailable for further cultivation, and the quality of the roots diminishes with storage in the soil and leaves roots unsuitable for many types of processing. Increasing land pressure, population growth, and expansion of area under cultivation resulted in the evolution of storage of dried Cassava chips. Changes in farming systems have affected harvesting and storage patterns and caused farmers to store Cassava in large amounts in storage structures with increasing susceptibility to attack by insects and fungi.

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