cassava 'all sufficient food'[Africa's finest food crop for ordinary people]
- Cassava is a perenial food woody shrub with an edible root.-originating in tropical and sub-tropical of central and south America,cassava arrived on the west coast of Africa at the sixteenth century and then spread in other parts of Africa including Tanzania.It has several advantages sa a crop-it can grow in marginal lands where cereals and other crops do not grow well.-it can tolerate drought.-it can grow in low nutrients soil.The root can remain in the ground up to 24 months some varieties last up to 36 months,so harvest can be delayed until market,processing or other conditions are favourable.It can be harvested any day of the year.Its importance in food security especially for subsistance farmers and underprivileged communities may increase further as an effect of global warming.Cassava root is one of the most important staple foods in sub-saharan Africa.In my own country Tanzania more than 40% of the population consume products of cassava roots as a staple food everyday.I can call it 'all sufficient food because from leaves we get meat [protein] or sauce and from roots we get bread.-in our homeland cassava is used mostry for human consumption,it is a daily source of dietary energy-the roots are processed into a wide variety of granules,paste and flours,or consumed frsh boiled-in most of the growing regions in Tanzania the leaves are also consumed as a green vegetable,which provides protein,and vitamin A and B.In most parts of Tanzania, cassava is traditionally powdered and heated to make UGALI. Basic procedures of preparing cassava flour;1.Peal and wash fresh cassava roots2.Grate [rasp] the roots into mash3.Remove the water from the mash by processinga clean bag.4.Seave the mash into fine granules5.Spread thinly on clean trays and allow to dry [this could be comleted within 24 hours to ensure good quality6.When dry, mill finely and seave if necessary.7.Parkage in polythin bags or an airtight container.My story continues i have a lot to tell,including people who are trying to help me on my subject concerning sustainable rural agriculture.I will give more information concerning food crop reseach,especially on cassava production.Josephat Thobias NdibalemaP.O.BOX 9140 MagomeniDar es salaam,Tanzania.
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