ECHOcommunity Conversations

Quantity of Cassava Stem Produced

I desire to know the quantity of cassava stem generated per tonne of the fresh cassava tuber produced. There is a great need to add value to this important resource.

Hi Emmanuel,

Very interesting question! Luckily there has been pretty significant research and investment into your question. IITA and Catholic Relief Services have done a lot of work in the area of rapid multiplication of cassava and therefore have some data and helpful instructions on this subject.

On average, one cassava stake (cutting) can produce in a year, enough stems for 10 new stakes when including 5-7 nodes (FAO, 2013 page 44-48.). Nodes are further apart in newer stem tissue, which impacts this variability. The health of the plant also impacts the number, length, and girth of stems, and therefore the amount of hardwood tissue and the number of stakes.

There are other methods of propagation that allow for more rapid multiplication of cassava developed and tested by many different countries including Thailand, Malawi, and Nigeria.

IITA has promoted stakes with fewer nodes (2-3) instead of 5-7 to get many more stakes out of each cassava cropping. They call these “ministem cuttings” and mention that they do need significant management and care, which must be considered (Otoo, 1994). IITA has a good video explaining the ministem process and rapid multiplication (it has two parts).

Has anyone tried this rapid multiplication method for cassava? Can you share your experience with it?

FAO. 2013. Save and Grow: Cassava, A guide to sustainable production intensification. Rome.

Otoo, J. (1994). Rapid multiplication of cassava. IITA research guide, No. 51. Ibadan, Nigeria: IITA. (p. 22).

Thanks for this valuable information; it is appreciated. However, I actually require information on the quantity of cassava stems generated for every 1 ton of fresh tubers produced. I have read a couple of good reports on the cassava value chain. All the reports did not include cassava stem as having any economic value apart from its use as a planting material.

We now know that cassava stem could be valourised to produce bioethanol, biochar and activated carbon. I am interested in studying the possibility of turning cassava stem into biochar and activated carbon. To write a good proposal, I need to know how much of the material is produced in Nigeria or Ghana. I am actually a citizen of Nigeria working as a University lecturer in Ghana.