Cassava Farming: Nutrients, Benefits, Downsides, Uses And its Market In Kenya
Cassava farming results in a root vegetable that grows underground. It’s the root system of the cassava shrub Manihot esculenta, which has the Latin name Manihot esculenta. It’s a tuber crop, like potatoes and yams. The form of cassava roots is similar to that of sweet potatoes.
The leaves of the cassava plant can also be edible. Cassava was grown and consumed by people living along the Amazon River in South America hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus set sail.
Cassava is now grown in more than 80 nations throughout the tropics, and it is a staple in the diets of more than 800 million people worldwide.
It is popular because it is a drought-resistant, hardy crop that requires little fertilizer. It is, nonetheless, susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.
Benefits and nutritional profile of cassava
Cassava is a calorie-dense vegetable that is high in carbohydrates as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin are all found in abundance in cassava. The leaves, are cooked or dried in the sun, can contain up to 25% protein.
The cassava root, on the other hand, does not have the same nutritious content as other tuber crops.
Tapioca starch is gaining popularity as a gluten-free flour source for making bread and other baked goods for persons with gluten intolerant condition.
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Cassava contains resistant starch. Experts believe can improve gut health by encouraging the growth of good microorganisms. As they pass through the filter, resistant starches remain basically unaltered.
Is cassava toxic?
Never eat cassava while they are raw since it contains naturally occurring cyanide. Cyanide is hazardous if consumed. Soaking and boiling cassava renders the chemicals harmless.
Cassava eaten raw or poorly prepared might cause serious negative effects.
Even in areas where cassava is a common part of the cuisine, reports have discovered a number of risks associated with eating it and consuming too much active cyanide. The effects include paralysis in children, low iodine levels, and an increased risk of goiter.
The condition tropical ataxic neuropathy, which causes a loss of feeling in the hands, poor vision, weakness ,and walking difficulty. More so, the sensation of something being on the feet is more common in older persons.
Kenya cassava wholesale price
Kenya Cassava can cost between US$ 3 and US$ 1 per kilogram, or between US$ 1.36 and US$ 0.45 per pound(lb).
The price per kilogram is KES 326.8 in Kenyan Shillings. In Mombasa and Nairobi, the average price for a tonne is US$ 3000.