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Source: International Institute for Tropical Agriculture


Common names: Cassava, Manioc, Tapioca
Scientific name: Manihot esculenta
Family: Euphorbiaceae

Growth stages 



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Seedling Stage

Leaves   Cassava mealybug
Cassava green spider mite
Cassava hornworm

Vegetative Stage

Leaves  Cassava mealybug
Cassava green spider mite
Cassava hornworm

Reproductive Stage


Maturation stage

Tubers   Termites




Viral n


Cassava when planted as an intercrop along with cowpea or groundnut in tree crops like Eucalyptus and Leucaena reduces soil run-off and soil-loss. Forage yield of Leucaena improves and results best growth on Eucalyptus (in terms of girth size) when grown with cassava + groundnut (Ghosh; et. al., 1989: pp. 67-82). Canavalia or crotalaria (legume crops) when planted as intercrops with cassava improves soil productivity. Sow 1 row of Canavalia or crotalaria between rows of cassava immediately after planting cassava. Let these grow until harvest. Plow-under to incorporate into the soil (CIAT, 2000).

Cassava grows rather well on poor soils but to produce high yields the crop requires large amount of nutrients. To maintain high yields, it is necessary to maintain the fertility of the soil. Some Asian farmers apply 5-7 tons of manure in a hectare. The application of nutrients to cassava soils in the form of animal manure and through intercropping with grain legumes play significant roles in increasing cassava yields and maintaining soil fertility (CIAT, 2000).

The cassava plant can be maintained as a semi-perennial forage crop for at least 2 years provided there is fertilization either with goat or pig manure (Sopheak, undated). Application of NPK at the rate of 60-60-120 kg/ha can significantly increase cassava yield (Cong, 2001). However, fertilizer recommendations based on soil analyses provide the very best chance of getting the right amount of fertilizer without over or under fertilizing. Ask for assistance from local agriculturist office for soil sampling and soil analysis procedures.

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Further information

The cassava plant has toxic compounds (cyanogens) in its tubers and leaves.

Improper preparation of cassava for food should be avoided. Boiling and drying make cassava safe for consumption. Grating, fermenting, and sun-drying are other effective methods.

External links


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