Origin And Origin Of Cassava
Cassava has its genetic, geographical and agricultural origin in Latin America. Its domestication began 5000 – 7000 years BC in the Amazon, Brazil (Alves, 2002) and it was distributed by Europeans to the rest of the world (Henry and
Hershey, 2002). Cassava was taken from Brazil to the West coast of Africa by Portuguese traders in the 16th century
(Jones, 1959; Nweke, 1994). Cassava is highly tolerant to drought. It is well adapted to areas with a long dry season and uncertain rainfall, thus qualifying as the crop of choice for drought-prone areas (Cock, 1985). Cassava is a major root crop in the tropics and its roots are major source of calories for more than 500 million people worldwide (Cock, …show more content…
It is one of the cheapest sources of calories for human consumption, contributing about 40% of food calories in
Africa (IITA, 1990).
2.2. Taxonomy and Description of Cassava
Cassava (Manihot esculenta, Cranz.) typically grows as a perennial shrub, one to five meters in height, with palmate leaves bearing three to nine lobes and covered with a shiny, waxy epidermis. The mature plant generally takes one of two forms: either spreading stems or erect stems with various amounts of terminal branching (Janick and Byrne, 1984;
Alves, 2002). Species in the genus Manihot are generally well adapted to tropical regions, where they take the form of subshrubs to small trees, forming large, woody roots. The genus Manihot belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family with
2n=36 and has about 100 species, among which Manihot esculenta is the only one commercially cultivated (Nassar,
1978; Alves, 2002; Ricardo et al., 2007).
Cassava, as known in English, is “manioc” in French, “yuca” in Spanish, and “mandioca” in Portuguese. In Ethiopia, it’s locally known as “yefurno duket zaf” (Amharic), Batata (Soomaali), Deekikaa (Afaan Oromoo) (Gilbert, 1995; Amsalu
Nebiyu et al., 2000).
2.3. Production and Utilization of