Advantages And Disadvantages Of Cassava

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Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a perennial tuber crop that originated in South America (Hillocks et al., 2002a). Cassava is a major staple and an important source of calories to more than half a billion people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (Rosenthal & Ort, 2011; FAO, 2013). Its introduction in Africa dates back to the 1550s. Today Africa is the foremost cassava producing region with over half of the global production (FAO, 2013). Nigeria is the world 's largest producer of cassava. Thailand is the largest exporting country of dried cassava, with a total of 77% of world export in 2005 (Katz and Weaver, 2003). The second-largest exporting country is Vietnam, with 13.6%, followed by Indonesia (5.8%) and Costa Rica (2.1%) (FAO, 2005).…show more content…
The plant is characterized by palmate lobed leaves, inconspicuous flowers and a large, starchy, tuberous root with a tough papery brown bark and white to yellow flesh (New World Encyclopedia, 2008). Anatomically cassava root is not a tuberous root, but a true root, which cannot be used for vegetative propagation. The mature cassava storage root has three distinct tissues: bark (periderm), peel (cortex) and parenchyma. The parenchyma, which is the edible portion of the fresh root, comprises approximately 85% of the total weight, consisting of the xylem vessels radially distributed in a matrix of starch containing cells (Wheatley and Chuzel, 1993). Consequently, cassava is of lower nutritional value than cereals, legumes, and even some other root and tuber crops such as yams (Charles et al., 2005). Cassava root contains significant amount of iron, phosphorus, calcium and vitamin C, but is a poor source of proteins. The root contains carbohydrates, 64 to 72 % of which is made up of starch, mainly in the form of amylose and
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