Understanding the productivity of cassava in West Africa
Ezui, Kodjovi Senam - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Linus Franke; A. Mando. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430470 - 183
manihot esculenta - cassava - crop production - rainfed agriculture - drought - crop yield - water use efficiency - radiation use efficiency - fertilizers - togo - ghana - west africa - manihot esculenta - cassave - gewasproductie - regenafhankelijke landbouw - droogte - gewasopbrengst - watergebruiksrendement - stralingsbenuttigingsefficiëntie - kunstmeststoffen - togo - ghana - west-afrika
Drought stress and sub-optimal soil fertility management are major constraints to crop production in general and to cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) in particular in the rain-fed cropping systems in West Africa. Cassava is an important source of calories for millions of smallholder households in sub-Sahara Africa. The prime aim of this research was to understand cassava productivity in order to contribute to improving yields, food security and farm incomes in rain-fed cassava production systems in West Africa. A long-term goal was to contribute to a decision support tool for site-specific crop and nutrient management recommendations. Firstly, we studied farmers’ perception of cassava production constraints, assessed drivers of diversity among households and analysed the suitability of farmers’ resource endowment groups to the intensification of cassava production. The results indicate that farmers perceived erratic rainfall and poor soil fertility to be prime constraints to cassava production. The agricultural potential of the area and the proximity to regional markets were major drivers for the adoption of crop intensification options including the use of mineral and organic fertilizers. While the use of mineral and organic fertilizers was common in the Maritime zone that had a low agricultural potential, storage roots yields were below the national average of 2.2 Mg dry matter per hectare, and average incomes of 0.62, 0.46 and 0.46 US$ per capita per day for the high, medium and low farmer resource groups (REGs – HRE, MRE and LRE, respectively) were below the poverty line requirement of 1.25 US$. In the high agricultural potential Plateaux zone, HRE and MRE households passed this poverty line by earning 2.58 and 2.59 US$ per capita per day, respectively, unlike the LRE households with 0.89 US$ per capita per day. Secondly, we investigated the effects of mineral fertilizer on nutrient uptake, nutrient physiological use efficiency and storage roots yields of cassava since soil fertility was a major issue across the zones. We used an approach based on the model for the Quantitative Evaluation of the Fertility of Tropical Soils (QUEFTS). This model was successfully adapted for cassava and it appropriately assessed the response of cassava to N, P and K applications, especially in years with good rainfall. Under high drought stress, the model overestimated cassava yields. Thirdly, we investigated the impact of balanced nutrition on nutrient use efficiency, yield and return on investment compared to blanket fertilizer use as commonly practiced in cassava production systems in Southern Togo, and in Southern and Northern Ghana. The balanced nutrition approach of the QUEFTS model aimed to maximize simultaneously nutrient use efficiency of N, P and K in accordance with the plant’s needs. Larger nutrient use efficiencies of 20.5 to 23.9 kg storage root dry matter (DM) per kilo crop nutrient equivalent (1kCNE of a nutrient is the quantity of that nutrient that has the same effect on yield as 1 kg of N under balanced nutrition conditions) were achieved at balanced nutrition at harvest index (HI) of 0.50 compared to 20.0 to 20.5 kg storage root DM per kilo CNE for the blanket rates recommended by national research services for cassava production. Lower benefit:cost ratios of 2.4±0.9 were obtained for the blanket fertilizer rates versus 3.8±1.1 for the balanced fertilizer rates. Our study revealed that potassium (K) was a major yield limiting factor for cassava production, especially on the Ferralsols in Southern Togo. Hence, we fourthly studied the effect of K and its interaction with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and the timing of harvest on the productivity of cassava in relation to the effects of K on radiation use efficiency (RUE), light interception, water use efficiency (WUE) and water transpiration. The results suggest that K plays a leading role in RUE and WUE, while N is the leading nutrient for light interception and water transpiration. Potassium effects on RUE and WUE depended on the availability of N and harvest time. Values of RUE and WUE declined with harvest at 4, 8 and 11 months after planting. Thus, enhanced K management with sufficient supply of N during the early stage of development of cassava is needed to maximize RUE and WUE, and consequently attain larger storage root yields. Given that erratic rainfall was another major constraint to cassava production according to the results of the farm survey, and due to the inability of QUEFTS modelling to assess drought effects on cassava yield successfully, another modelling approach based on light interception and utilization (LINTUL) was used. We quantified drought impacts on yields and explored strategies to improve yields through evaluation of planting dates in Southern Togo. The evaluation of the model indicated good agreement between simulated and observed leaf area index (Normalised Root Mean Square Error - NRMSE - 17% of the average observed LAI), storage roots yields (NRMSE 5.8% of the average observed yield) and total biomass yield (NRMSE 5.8% of the average observed). Simulated yield losses due to drought ranged from 9-60% of the water-limited yields. The evaluation of planting dates from mid-January to mid-July indicated that the best planting window is around mid-February. Higher amount of cropping season rainfall was also achieved with early planting. These results contradict current practices of starting planting around mid-March to mid-April. However, the results indicate the possibility to increase cassava yields with early planting, which led to less yield losses due to drought. By contrast, late planting around June-July gave larger potential yields, and suggested these periods to be the best planting window for cassava under irrigated conditions in Southern Togo. This shows that appropriate water control and planting periods can contribute to attaining larger yields in Southern Togo. Further improvement of the LINTUL model is required towards using it to assess water-limited yield, which can be used as boundary constraint in QUEFTS to derive site-specific fertilizer requirements for enhanced cassava yield and returns on investments in West Africa.
People, soil and manioc interactions in the upper Amazon region
Peña Venegas, C.P. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Tjeerd-Jan Stomph; Gerard Verschoor. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573222 - 210
bodem - landbouw - inheemse kennis - bodemtypen (antropogeen) - inheemse volkeren - ecosystemen - cassave - manihot - diversiteit - menselijke invloed - amazonia - soil - agriculture - indigenous knowledge - soil types (anthropogenic) - indigenous people - ecosystems - cassava - manihot - diversity - human impact - amazonia
Clara Patricia Peña Venegas (2015). People, soil and manioc interactions in the upper Amazon region. PhD thesis, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, with summaries in English and Dutch, 210 pp.
The presence of anthropogenic soils, or Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE), fuels the debate about how pristine the Amazon ecosystem actually is, and about the degree to which humans affected Amazonian diversity in the past. Most upland soils of the Amazon region are very acid, highly weathered, and have a limited nutrient holding capacity; together, these characteristics limit permanent or intensive agriculture. Várzeas or floodplains that are periodically enriched with Andean sediments carried and deposited by rivers that cross the Amazon Basin, are moderately fertile but experience periodic floods that limit agriculture to crops able to produce in a short time. ADE patches in uplands usually are more fertile than non-anthropogenic uplands, providing a better environment for agriculture. Most studies about how people manage a broad portfolio of natural and anthropogenic soils come from non-indigenous farmers of Brazil. There is limited information about how indigenous people use a broad soil portfolio, and how this affects the diversity of their staple crop, manioc. With the aim to contribute to the understanding of the role of ADE in indigenous food production, as compared with other soils, and in order to provide information about how indigenous people use and create diversity in Amazonia, research was carried out among five different ethnic groups living in two locations of the Colombian Amazon.
Several social and natural science methods were used during the study. These included ethnography, participant observation, structured and un-structured interviews, sampling of soil and manioc landraces, standardized protocols for the quantification of soil physical and chemical variables, and molecular techniques to assess genetic diversity of manioc and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
Results indicate that ADE patches from the Middle Caquetá region of Colombia are not contrastingly more fertile than surrounding, non-anthropogenic upland soils, except for higher levels of available phosphorus in ADE. Indigenous farmers from the Middle Caquetá region do not use ADE more frequently or more intensively than non-ADE uplands. The swidden agriculture practiced on ADE and on non-ADE uplands is similar. Although ADE patches were not specifically important for swiddens and therefore relatively unimportant for the production of manioc. They were important as sites for indigenous settlements and for maintaining agroforestry systems with native and exotic species that do not grow in soils with low available phosphorus. Várzeas were also used for agriculture, whether farmers had access to ADE or not. Differences occurred between locations in the type of floodplains selected and the way they were cultivated. Those differences were not related to differences in soil conditions but were associated with the cultural traditions of the different ethnic groups who cultivate low floodplains, as well as labor availability when organizing collective work (mingas) to harvest floodplains.
Manioc diversity among indigenous communities was not predominantly related with differences in soil types. Complete manioc stocks were cultivated equally on ADE, non-ADE uplands or várzeas. One issue that could be related with this non-specificity in manioc-soil combinations was the similar arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity of soils and the high number of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbionts associated to manioc roots; these were shown to be independent from the physicochemical composition of the soil or the manioc landrace. Differences in the diversity of manioc stocks among ethnic groups were predominantly related to cultural values attached to different manioc landraces.
This study of indigenous agriculture in environments with natural and anthropogenic soils indicates that people have had an important role in transforming the Amazonian ecosystem through agriculture, with consequences on forest composition and forest dynamics. Pre-Columbian people contributed to this by creating an additional soil- the Amazonian Dark Earths. Although ADE are not presently considered to play a major role in indigenous food production, indigenous people believe that ADE have had an important role in the management of the first maniocs cultivated by their ancestors. The domestication of manioc and the creation and maintenance of hundreds of different landraces by indigenous people contributed, and still contributes, to the region’s plant diversity.
Food matrix effects on bioaccessibility of B-Carotene can be measured in a vitro gastrointestinal model
Loo-Bouwman, C.A. van; Naber, T.H.J. ; Minekus, M. ; Hulshof, P.J.M. ; Schaafsma, G. - \ 2014
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62 (2014)4. - ISSN 0021-8561 - p. 950 - 955.
green leafy vegetables - digestion method - pro-vitamin - folic-acid - accessibility - serum - bioavailability - absorption - retinol - cassava
Since the food matrix determines ß-carotene availability for intestinal absorption, food matrix effects on the bioaccessibility of ß-carotene from two diets were investigated in vitro and compared with in vivo data. The “mixed diet” consisted of ß-carotene-rich vegetables, and the “oil diet” contained ß-carotene-low vegetables with supplemental ß-carotene. The application of extrinsically labeled ß-carotene was also investigated. The bioaccessibility of ß-carotene was 28 µg/100 µg ß-carotene from the mixed diet and 53 µg/100 µg ß-carotene from the oil diet. This ratio of 1.9:1 was consistent with in vivo data, where the apparent absorption was 1.9-fold higher in the oil diet than in the mixed diet. The labeled ß-carotene was not equally distributed over time. In conclusion, the food matrix effects on bioaccessibility of ß-carotene could be measured using an in vitro model and were consistent with in vivo data. The application of extrinsically labeled ß-carotene was not confirmed.
Yellow cassava: efficacy of provitamin A rich cassava on improvement of vitamin A status in Kenyan schoolchildren
Talsma, E.F. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Michael Zimmermann; Frans Kok, co-promotor(en): Inge Brouwer; Alida Melse-Boonstra. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461738554 - 143
cassave - provitaminen - retinol - vitamine a tekort - voedingstoestand - schoolkinderen - kenya - fortificatie - cassava - provitamins - retinol - vitamin a deficiency - nutritional state - school children - kenya - fortification
Background: Biofortified yellow cassava has great potential to alleviate vitamin A deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa and can be used as a complementary approach to other interventions. However, direct evidence whether yellow cassava can significantly contribute to the vitamin A intake and status of populations is required. The overall aim of this thesis is to provide proof of principle whether biofortified yellow cassava can improve the vitamin A status of schoolchildren in Kenya.
Methods: The research was conducted in Kibwezi district, Eastern Kenya. First the effect of daily consumption of yellow cassava was assessed in 342 primary school children in Kenya in a randomized controlled feeding trial with serum retinol concentration as primary outcome. Furthermore we investigated the sensory and cultural acceptability of yellow cassava in a cross-sectional study (n=140) in three primary schools for children as well as their caretakers. Next we studied the diagnostic performance of several proxy markers to assess vitamin A deficiency in comparison with serum retinol concentration as a field based method to assess vitamin A deficiency (n=375). And last we used the dietary intake data of children in the randomized controlled trial to model the potential contribution of yellow cassava to the nutrient adequacy of micronutrient intake using linear programming.
Results: The randomized controlled feeding trial collected complete data for 337 children with a compliance of 100%. Primary analyses (per protocol) showed that serum retinol concentrations in the yellow cassava group, increased with 0.04 μmol/L (95%CI: 0.00‒0.07 μmol/L) compared to the white cassava group and secondary analyses showed that serum β-carotene concentration increased with 524% (448%‒608%). No evidence of effect modification by initial vitamin A status, zinc status, or polymorphisms in the β-carotene monooxygenase gene was found. In the acceptability study 72% of caretakers and children were able to detect a significant difference in taste between white and yellow cassava and indicated to prefer yellow cassava because of its soft texture, sweet taste and attractive color. Serum concentrations of retinol binding protein, transthyretin and C-reactive protein combined showed excellent diagnostic performance in estimating vitamin A deficiency in primary school children, with an area under the curve of 0.98. Adding yellow cassava to the diet as a school lunch improved the nutrient adequacy of the diet of schoolchildren, however, even with the addition of nutrient dense foods such as fish and oil, nutrient adequacy could not be ensured for fat, riboflavin, niacin, folate and vitamin A.
Conclusions: Consumption of yellow cassava is acceptable and improves the serum retinol concentrations of primary school children in Kenya. The combination of three proxy markers is a promising approach to measure vitamin A deficiency in a low resource setting. Yellow cassava contributes to a better nutrient adequacy but should be accompanied by additional dietary guidelines and interventions to fill the remaining nutrient gaps.
Convergent adaptations: bitter manioc cultivation systems in fertile anthropogenic dark earths and floodplain soils in central Amazonia
Fraser, J.A. ; Alves-Pereira, A. ; Braga Junqueira, A. ; Peroni, N. ; Clement, C.R. - \ 2012
PLoS ONE 7 (2012)8. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 13 p.
manihot-esculenta crantz - genetic diversity - traditional agroecosystems - cassava - management - dynamics - ecology - brazil - seed - microsatellites
Shifting cultivation in the humid tropics is incredibly diverse, yet research tends to focus on one type: long-fallow shifting cultivation. While it is a typical adaptation to the highly-weathered nutrient-poor soils of the Amazonian terra firme, fertile environments in the region offer opportunities for agricultural intensification. We hypothesized that Amazonian people have developed divergent bitter manioc cultivation systems as adaptations to the properties of different soils. We compared bitter manioc cultivation in two nutrient-rich and two nutrient-poor soils, along the middle Madeira River in Central Amazonia. We interviewed 249 farmers in 6 localities, sampled their manioc fields, and carried out genetic analysis of bitter manioc landraces. While cultivation in the two richer soils at different localities was characterized by fast-maturing, low-starch manioc landraces, with shorter cropping periods and shorter fallows, the predominant manioc landraces in these soils were generally not genetically similar. Rather, predominant landraces in each of these two fertile soils have emerged from separate selective trajectories which produced landraces that converged for fast-maturing low-starch traits adapted to intensified swidden systems in fertile soils. This contrasts with the more extensive cultivation systems found in the two poorer soils at different localities, characterized by the prevalence of slow-maturing high-starch landraces, longer cropping periods and longer fallows, typical of previous studies. Farmers plant different assemblages of bitter manioc landraces in different soils and the most popular landraces were shown to exhibit significantly different yields when planted in different soils. Farmers have selected different sets of landraces with different perceived agronomic characteristics, along with different fallow lengths, as adaptations to the specific properties of each agroecological micro-environment. These findings open up new avenues for research and debate concerning the origins, evolution, history and contemporary cultivation of bitter manioc in Amazonia and beyond.
Evaluation of local protein resources for growing pigs in Central Vietnam
Nguyen Thi Hoa Ly, Ly - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Verstegen; W.H. Hendriks, co-promotor(en): L.D. Ngoan. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461732835 - 145
diervoeding - varkens - eiwitten - groei - cassave - diëten - zoete aardappelen - vietnam - animal nutrition - pigs - proteins - growth - cassava - diets - sweet potatoes - vietnam
The general objectives of the work presented here were to evaluate processing methods for the preservations of cassava leaves (CL) and sweet potato vines (SPV) for later feeding during feed shortages in Vietnam. In addition, the nutritional value (including hydrogen cyanide (HCN) contents) of stored and processed CL and SPV as ingredients in diets for pigs were studied to determine their optimal use.
The impact of different levels of various carbohydrates added to CL on ensiling and chemical properties was investigated (study 1). Inclusion of rice bran or cassava root meal at 5 or 10% (fresh basis),produced good quality silage that can be stored for up to three months. Ensiling reduced the HCN content up to 80% compared to the content in fresh CL. Using ensiled or dry CL and SPV to replace 70%of the crude protein in a practical fish meal based diet commonly used in Vietnam, gave similar performance results and carcass traits of Large White×Mong Caipigs (study 2). However, increasing ensiled CL from variety KM94 from 0 to 20% (in DM) in diets caused a significant decrease in the average daily gain of pigs but resulted in a 9-18% reduction in feed cost (study 3). Studies into the ileal and total tract apparent digestibility of amino acids and crude protein of ensiled and dried CL and SPV showed that these feed ingredients have the potential to improve the supply of amino acids and protein to growing pigs when fed practical diets (study 4). The chemical analyses indicated CL to have a higher crude protein content than SPV and that ensiling slightly decreases the crude protein as well as the amino acids content. Ensiling however, resulted in a higher digestibility of dietary nutrients compared to drying. Thefirst and second limiting amino acids for ensiled and dried CL and SPV for growing pigs were methionine+cysteine and lysine. Mixing ensiled CL and SPV vines may provide additional benefits in terms of amino acid digestibility over feeding these ingredients alone to pigs. Supplementation of diets containing ensiled CL with methionine and lysine showed that the performance of growing pigs can be increased, as well as the economic benefits for farmers (study 5).
The work presented shows that CL and SPV are economical alternatives for more traditionally protein source (e.g. fish meal, soybean meal) for pigs in Vietnam. Ensiling appears to be a practical solution to conserve sweet potato vines and cassava leaves and provide a solution for the rainy season when preservation by sun-drying is difficult.
Dangerous assumptions : the agroecology and ethnobiology of traditional polyculture cassava systems in rural Cameroon and implications of green revolution technologies for sustainability, food security, and rural welfare
Nchang Ntumngia, R. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Patricia Howard, co-promotor(en): Lisa Price. - [S.l : S.n. - ISBN 9789085858423 - 392
ontwikkelingsstudies - plattelandsontwikkeling - plattelandsvrouwen - bedrijfssystemen - teeltsystemen - meervoudige teelt - cassave - groene revolutie - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - voedselzekerheid - rurale welzijnszorg - kameroen - franssprekend afrika - ontwikkelingslanden - centraal-afrika - acs-landen - hoogopbrengende rassen - etnobotanie - agro-ecologie - middelen van bestaan - development studies - rural development - rural women - farming systems - cropping systems - multiple cropping - cassava - green revolution - sustainability - food security - rural welfare - cameroon - francophone africa - developing countries - central africa - acp countries - high yielding varieties - ethnobotany - agroecology - livelihoods
The Alliance for a New Green Revolution in Africa and African government and
CGIAR programmes oriented toward improving cassava production through intensification
and the use of external inputs have the ultimate goals to improve food production, promote
market integration, and increase incomes of small farm households. Essentially, AGRA’s
arguments, which are either implicit or explicit in the policies and programmes of the Government
of Cameroon and of several CGIAR institutes that the Government collaborates
with, are that traditional farming systems and practices suffer from low productivity and are
unsustainable. African soils are naturally poor, farmers use little or no fertiliser, and the
fallow periods that, in the past, provided for nutrient recycling, are declining due to population
pressure, leading farmers to mine the soil, which results in declining crop yields. Further,
farmers’ local varieties are low yielding and are highly susceptible to pests and diseases
compared to improved, high-yielding varieties (HYVs). Across Africa, per capita food
production is declining, and families live in poverty and hunger. Population pressure is increasing,
farmers are poor and thus in need of additional income and, if given the opportunity,
they will seek to maximise their income from crops sales, which they in turn will
reinvest in agriculture, given the right incentives. Farm households are food insecure and,
by increasing their output and sales, they will become food secure.
This dissertation challenges these underlying assumptions and questions the underlying
parameters individually and as a whole by examining traditional and more commercial
smallholder cassava agroecological systems and households in two study sites in rural
Cameroon (where conditions are theoretically quite positive for the acceptance of such
technologies) from agroecological, ethnobiological, economic, and cultural perspectives.
The objective is to understand the implications of policies and programmes that promote
Green Revolution-type technologies and market integration for the productivity and sustainability
of such agroecological systems, for the conservation of crop genetic resources,
and for the livelihoods, income, and food and nutritional security of smallholder farm
households. The intention is to critically examine the assumptions and underlying parameters
posited by AGRA, and to reformulate these on the basis of the findings to provide a
more adequate framework for approaching and assessing agricultural innovations in the
The following questions orient the research: Are African farming systems, and
farmers, characterised by attributes that AGRA ascribes to them? Are such farmers likely to
accept the technologies that AGRA is promoting? Are AGRA technologies and strategies
likely to lead to more sustainable, higher yielding farming systems? Are they likely to
translate into greater market integration, higher incomes, greater food security, and renewed
investment in agricultural intensification for small farm households? Are there trade-offs
that farmers and their households and communities have to confront in adopting such technologies
and, if so, how might these influence their strategies and responses to programmes
that promote Green Revolution-type intensification of the ‘old’ or ‘new’ varieties?
Findings presented in this dissertation show that Koudandeng and Malende farmers
have barely accepted Green Revolution technologies and modern farming strategies and
systems (including monoculture). The analysis of the findings proposes reasons for this,
and attempts to explain farmers’ and households’ production systems and strategies from an
emic (farmers’) perspective. It is argued that, if African farmers do not accept the Green
Revolution-type technologies, or accept them only on their own terms and in accordance
with the outcomes that they themselves desire that differ significantly from what governments
and researchers and donors anticipate, then this may be attributable at least in part to
the fact that the strategies and technologies that are promoted are based on erroneous assumptions,
not least about the key parameters that define the performance of real African
farming systems and real African farming households. These parameters are grouped under
two main categories - agroecological and socio-economic – which, in AGRA’s discourse,
are treated as if they were unrelated. There is thus an absence of attention to the relations
between the agroecological (or what can be termed environmental, or ‘nature’), and the
socioeconomic (or what can be termed ‘culture’), which in turn leads to an inattention to
the diversity of cultures and agroecologies across Africa – its biocultural diversity – that
permits blanket recommendations to be made on the basis of over-generalised and oversimplified
When emphasising the need to give greater consideration to the relations between
culture and nature – that is, to the diversity of African cultures, agroecologies, and socioeconomic
systems and relations, and to the relations between culture, agroecology, and socioeconomics
- this dissertation proposes three different interacting sets of analytical parameters
that must be considered if insights into real African agriculture and real African farm
households are to emerge. Two of these sets of parameters emerge from a critique of
AGRA’s parameters and a third arises out of a framework for assessing the acceptability of
crop varieties that has its foundations in ethnobiology.
This comparative research, which was carried out between 2002 and 2008, involved
a total of 206 farmers in two different villages in two regions in the South of Cameroon.
The methods for collecting and analysing data were both quantitative and qualitative, and
were drawn from sociology, anthropology, and ethnobiology (cognitive anthropology).
Qualitative data collection methods included a review of grey and published literature, as
well as ethnographic interviewing and participant observation. Quantitative methods included
four closed question surveys and cognitive ethnobiological elicitation (freelisting
and triads testing). Qualitative interview data were coded and analysed narratively (description,
explanation, interpretation, quotations) using Microsoft Word. The small household
sample size that was used did not permit the use of sophisticated statistical analyses according
to population sub-samples, which limited the analysis of survey data to that which
would be done using descriptive statistics, such as proportions, percentages, and frequencies.
Regression analysis was done sparingly. Cultural consensus analysis, proximities
analysis, multidimensional scaling, quadratic assessment product, cluster analysis, and
property fitting regression were used to analyse the ethnobiological data that was collected.
The general conclusions of this dissertation assert that traditional African polyculture
systems and their genetic diversity (crop species and varieties) are often environmentally
sustainable, able to meet income and food needs of rural households and communities,
and fulfil multiple cultural needs relating to identity, foodways, spirituality, and social reciprocity.
The assumptions behind the promotion of AGRA-type technologies are reductionist;
they do not take into consideration the complexities of African agriculture and livelihoods,
or the interrelation between farmers’ social and cultural norms, resource access, and
livelihood strategies, and how they carry out agriculture (e.g. spatial and temporal configurations,
cropping patterns, crop and varietal choices, cultural practices). Across most of
Africa, smallholders and their agroecosystems are firmly embedded in ethnic and tribal
communities that adhere more or less strongly to cultural norms, beliefs, and kinship or
lineage-based social relations. Their agricultural knowledge and practices are often based
largely on local knowledge and resources. Such ‘traditional’ agricultural systems generally
represent a long-term adaptation between culture and nature, where both have co-evolved
over time. Farmers’ knowledge and practices are embedded in social relations where many
modes of subsistence are characterised by forms of communalism that are relatively egalitarian,
which tends to ensure that resources are distributed in such a way that people have
sufficient means to meet socially defined, as well as biological needs. Unsustainable practices
and inegalitarian social relations that may accompany the adoption of Green Revolution
technologies and greater market integration are likely to be mal-adaptive over the long
The assumptions underlying the ‘New Green Revolution for Africa’ drastically
over-simplify traditional African farming systems and ignore their diversity and thus do not
hold everywhere in Africa which, it is argued, may represent yet another threat to the integrity
of traditional African cultures, agroecological systems, and biological diversity. Eight
major critiques of this over-simplification and the resultant dangerous consequences for
African farm households include: i) the inappropriateness (technical and practical limitations)
of the recommendations for integrated soil fertility management practices and fertiliser
use for most African contexts; ii) the lack of consideration for farm households’ social
constraints: differential access to income, land, and labour, and investments in other livelihood
activities that compete with investments in agricultural inputs, which consequently
may have implications for soil fertility management; iii) the lack of attention to the pests
and diseases of most significance to farmers; iv) the relative inattention to the need to develop
varieties that conform with local foodways and food processing and storage conditions;
v) the implications of mass production of the reduction of crop diversity and varietal
diversity for food security and nutrition and the consequences for human health; vi) the
lack of serious consideration of farmers’ knowledge and practices in crop breeding strategies
and the lack of precise methodologies for effectively and systematically accessing and
document farmers’ varietal knowledge, perceptions, and preferences and relating these to
farmer behaviour when accepting crop varieties; vii) the improbability that prices for mass
produced HYVs will increase income and investments in inputs; and viii) the consequences
of conversion to monoculture for livelihood and food security that are entailed in widescale
acceptance of AGRA-type recommendations.
Based on these critiques, the major policy recommendation emphasised in this dissertation
is to give greater consideration to real African farming systems and real African
farmers and how and why they function as they do, which, it is argued, must serve as the
point of departure for agricultural policies and programmes across the region if these are to
succeed in supporting such farmers, their communities, and their nations. Farmers’ culture,
social relations, knowledge, practices, and experiences that remain, in the ‘New’ Green
Revolution, as in the ‘Old’, a black box, should be newly considered in policies and research
and development as positive points of departure for increasing food security in Africa.
Kleis, R. ; Sikkema, A. ; Wolkers, H. - \ 2010
Resource: weekblad voor Wageningen UR 4 (2010)21. - ISSN 1874-3625 - p. 12 - 13.
planten - penen - algen - cassave - schimmels - kleur - plants - carrots - algae - cassava - fungi - colour
Diverse Wageningse wetenschappers over oranje planten, voedingsmiddelen, algen en schimmels.
Resource use efficiency and environmental performance of nine major biofuel crops, processed by first-generation conversion techniques
Vries, S.C. de; Ven, G.W.J. van de; Ittersum, M.K. van; Giller, K.E. - \ 2010
Biomass and Bioenergy 34 (2010)5. - ISSN 0961-9534 - p. 588 - 601.
chain energy analysis - biodiesel production - sweet sorghum - fuel ethanol - soil - thailand - cassava - systems - impact - sugar
We compared the production–ecological sustainability of biofuel production from several major crops that are also commonly used for production of food or feed, based on current production practices in major production areas. The set of nine sustainability indicators focused on resource use efficiency, soil quality, net energy production and greenhouse gas emissions, disregarding socio-economic or biodiversity aspects and land use change. Based on these nine production–ecological indicators and attributing equal importance to each indicator, biofuel produced from oil palm (South East Asia), sugarcane (Brazil) and sweet sorghum (China) appeared most sustainable: these crops make the most efficient use of land, water, nitrogen and energy resources, while pesticide applications are relatively low in relation to the net energy produced. Provided there is no land use change, greenhouse gas emissions of these three biofuels are substantially reduced compared with fossil fuels. Oil palm was most sustainable with respect to the maintenance of soil quality. Maize (USA) and wheat (Northwest Europe) as feedstock for ethanol perform poorly for nearly all indicators. Sugar beet (Northwest Europe), cassava (Thailand), rapeseed (Northwest Europe) and soybean (USA) take an intermediate position.
Livelihoods of cassava farmers in the context of HIV/AIDS in northern Malawi
Yajima, M. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arnold van Huis; J.L.S. Jiggins. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085855446 - 202
cassave - boeren - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - sociale gevolgen - plantenziekten - insectenplagen - houding van boeren - malawi - middelen van bestaan - farmer field schools - cassava - farmers - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - social impact - plant diseases - insect pests - farmers' attitudes - malawi - livelihoods - farmer field schools
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa with a high population density and HIV prevalence. Most smallholder farmers grow maize as a staple, which is highly dependent on the uni-modal rainfall and off-farm inputs. The ‘New Variant Famine’ hypothesis argues that AIDS has aggravated food insecurity and stimulated cassava production because of lower labour demand in cultivation. The Farmer Field School (FFS) was introduced to support small-scale farmers, but its relevance to the Malawian context has been challenged. This study examined the ‘New Variant Famine’ hypothesis and the FFSs on cassava in northern Malawi. Participants and non-participants of cassava FFSs were interviewed on their crop management. The survey showed that although farmers recognised visible pest and diseases, they did not take action. Cultural controls are hardly used. Their participation in FFSs did not have a major impact. Curriculum design was found crucial in gaining farmers’ interest. Individual life history data and analysis of genealogical information indicated that AIDS is perceived as only one in the continuum of risks facing subsistence cassava growers. Perception of AIDS is changing, under the influence of social organisations that have emerged to offer community-level support. This suggests that increased programming effort would help small-scale farmers develop stronger ‘social immunity’ in coping with threats to their food security.
Cassava and soil fertility in intensifying smallholder farming systems of East Africa
Fermont, A.M. van - \ 2009
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Mark van Wijk; Pablo Tittonell. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085853992 - 196
manihot esculenta - cassave - bodemvruchtbaarheid - agronomie - bedrijfssystemen - systeemanalyse - voedselzekerheid - kunstmeststoffen - kenya - uganda - manihot esculenta - cassava - soil fertility - agronomy - farming systems - systems analysis - food security - fertilizers - kenya - uganda
Keywords: Cost-benefits, Crop management, Farming systems, Fertilizer, Food security, Generalizations, Income, Labour, Land pressure, Niche, Rainfall, Sub-Saharan Africa, System analysis, Yield gap.
Cassava is an important crop in Africa. This thesis focuses on cassava production in the mid altitude zone of East Africa, an area characterized by high population densities, bimodal rainfall patterns and relatively poor soils. The overall aim was to better understand the roles and production constraints of cassava in order to explore opportunities to improve the productivity and sustainability of intensifying cassava-based smallholder farming systems in East Africa. Increasing land pressure has changed agricultural landscapes from traditional millet-, cotton-, sugarcane- or banana-based systems with an important fallow component to continuously, cultivated cassava-based systems. Cassava cultivation on cropped fields increased from 1-11 to 16-55% in three to four decades as farmers believe that cassava improves soil fertility for the subsequent crop and increasingly target cassava to low fertility soils when land pressure increases. The substantial increase in cassava cultivation has allowed farmers to postpone intensification of crop management, but it seems that the elasticity of the traditionally low-input systems is coming to an end as production of the two most important crops (cassava and maize) is limited by nutrients. Farmers in areas of high land pressure have started to adopt fertilizer and manure and to improve crop management.
Contrary to existing generalizations, cassava is not a food security crop for poorer farmers in East Africa, but an important food and cash crop for farmers from all wealth classes. Average farm income was not less than in other farming systems in the region, while average food security was higher (>10 months year-1) than in maize-based systems. Cassava is also not predominantly grown as an intercrop, as is often thought, nor is it grown without inputs, because farmers commonly use hired labour and improved genotypes. In addition, its labour requirements are higher than commonly assumed (287 man days ha-1), due to large requirements for weed control. Existing generalizations concerning cassava are therefore either false or half truths and a continued belief in them will hamper the effectiveness of policy and development efforts aimed at improving cassava production. Efforts to increase cassava production in cassava-based farming systems will, for example, improve its scope for commercialization, but will not significantly enhance food security.
Average farmer yields for cassava (7-12 t ha-1) are far below attainable yields on farm (30-50 t ha-1). Still, on-farm yields are highly variable. Largest yields were obtained on farms with high labour availability, fertile soils, good weed management and timely (not too early) harvesting. An improved technology package more than doubled
average yields in farmer fields, whereby the largest yield increase for a single technology was observed with 100-22-83 kg ha-1 N-P-K fertilizer. Multivariate analysis identified soil fertility, rainfall and weed management as the most important production constraints, while biotic factors were less important. Many fields were affected by multiple and interacting production constraints. Fertilizer responses were governed by the same, interacting factors influencing unfertilized cassava production. Genotype and biotic factors did not influence fertilizer response. Closing the considerable yield gap between actual and attainable cassava yields at farm level, can not be achieved by integrated pest management and breeding alone. Instead, research and development organizations should focus on addressing the whole range of interacting production constraints through the development and evaluation of integrated management packages. Improving cassava production will be more difficult for poorer than for wealthier farmers, as the first have less social and financial capital and less fertile soils and are therefore more likely to face multiple production constraints.
The positive impact of cassava on soil fertility perceived by farmers is supported by model simulations and nutrient balances that indicate that cassava may improve SOC contents of low fertility soils compared with maize and contribute to higher N recycling through crop residues. Adoption of higher yielding genotypes and improved production practices will improve yields and increase nutrient removal rates, but may simultaneously have a positive effect on SOC contents and nutrient recycling rates. Improving cassava stem management after harvesting seems an interesting option to improve sustainability of the system.
This thesis concludes that there is an urgent need to invest in agronomy and ISFM research and to reform existing research for developments programmes with a strong emphasis on breeding and IPM into integrated programmes that are able to address the multiple production constraints of cassava and thereby significantly contribute to improving the livelihoods of smallholder cassava farmers.
Oranje cassave tegen ondervoeding
Brouwer, I.D. - \ 2008
Kennis Online 5 (2008)dec. - p. 11 - 11.
ondervoeding - voedingsstoffenopname (mens en dier) - vitaminetekorten - cassave - undernutrition - nutrient intake - vitamin deficiencies - cassava
De halve wereldbevolking krijgt te weinig vitaminen en mineralen binnen. Internationaal proberen wetenschappers in basisgewassen als rijst, maïs en cassave het niveau van vitamine A, zink en ijzer te verhogen. Wageningse onderzoekers kijken naar de opname van de stofjes
Improving local technologies to manage speargrass (Imperata cylindrica) in southern Benin
Vissoh, P.V. ; Kuyper, T.W. ; Gbehounou, G. ; Hounkonnou, D. ; Ahanchede, A. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2008
International Journal of Pest Management 54 (2008)1. - ISSN 0967-0874 - p. 21 - 29.
soil fertility management - cover crops - l. raeuschel - west-africa - grain-yield - maize - systems - cassava - perceptions - farmers
Speargrass (Imperata cylindrica) is difficult to control in the tropics. Farmers allocate most of their time and labour to weeding speargrass. We investigated in a joint experiment concluded with farmers, how effectively grain legumes suppress speargrass, and the relationships between speargrass suppression, legume grain yield, and subsequent maize yield. Without management, speargrass shoots and rhizomes increased with 31 and 17% per month, respectively. The integration of deep ridging, deep hoe weeding and shading suppressed speargrass more effectively than farmers' practices. Creeping varieties of cowpea that produced most biomass were most successful in suppressing speargrass and in enhancing subsequent maize yields, but erect cowpea cultivars produced more grain. Farmers traded off cowpea yield against speargrass suppression to bridge the hungry gap. They preferred the erect cowpea cultivar wan. The need to forego a harvest and the fact that pigeonpea is not consumed in the area makes pigeonpea presently unsuitable for integration into the cropping system.
Feeding activity of the East African millipede Omopyge sudanica Kraus on different crop products in laboratory experiments
Ebregt, E. ; Struik, P.C. ; Abidin, P.E. ; Odongo, B. - \ 2007
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 54 (2007)3. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 313 - 323.
diplopoda - zoete aardappelen - waardplanten - cassave - zaden - voedselgranen (hele korrel) - experimenten - laboratoriumproeven - uganda - diplopoda - sweet potatoes - host plants - cassava - seeds - whole grains - experiments - laboratory tests - uganda - sweet-potato production - farmers information - infestation
Millipedes can cause considerable damage in the production of sweet potato and some other crops in East Africa. Quantitative information on intake of crop diets by and body weight gain of millipedes was collected in short-term no-choice feeding activity laboratory experiments conducted in north-eastern Uganda using female millipedes of the species Omopyge sudanica. Diets consisted of sweet potato and cassava storage root material, groundnut seeds, or maize grains. Differences in intake and body weight gain between diets were not statistically different. The consumption index, i.e., the ratio between intake and body weight gain, was significantly higher for sweet potato than for most other diets. The efficiency of conversion of ingested food, i.e., 100 × the ratio between body weight gain and intake, was significantly lower for the root crops ? especially sweet potato ? than for the grain crops. The research showed how difficult it is to obtain reliable, quantitative data on the feeding habits of millipedes, but also illustrated that O. sudanica can cause harm to crops in north-eastern Uganda and elsewhere in East Africa
Efficient somatic embryogenesis in Alstroemeria
Kim, J.B. ; Raemakers, C.J.J.M. ; Jacobsen, E. ; Visser, R.G.F. - \ 2006
Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture: an international journal on in vitro culture of higher plants 86 (2006)2. - ISSN 0167-6857 - p. 233 - 238.
plant-regeneration - genetic-transformation - callus - induction - cultures - embryos - cassava - growth
In Alstroemeria high frequencies of compact embryogenic callus (CEC) induction (40%) and friable embryogenic callus (FEC) induction (15%) were obtained from nodes with axil tissue cultured first on a Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 10 ¿M thidiazuron and 0.5 ¿M indole-3-butyric acid and after that on a Schenk and Hildebrandt (SH) medium supplemented with 9.1 ¿M 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid and 2.2 ¿M benzylaminopurine (BA). Both types of callus were maintained on modified MS medium supplemented with 20.8 ¿M picloram. CEC and FEC formed somatic embryos and subsequently plants when transferred to MS medium supplemented with 2.2 ¿M BA. Plants were produced after 12 weeks (CEC) or after 16 weeks (FEC) of culture. Regenerated plants were established in the greenhouse and flowered normally
Analysing and governing environmental flows: the case of Tra Co tapioca village, Vietnam
Mol, A.P.J. ; Tran Thi My Dieu, - \ 2006
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 53 (2006)3-4. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 301 - 317.
landbouwindustrie - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - milieueffect - tapioca - cassave - technologie - gesloten systemen - vietnam - agribusiness - sustainability - environmental impact - tapioca - cassava - technology - closed systems - vietnam
Environmental flows are of crucial importance for questions of sustainability. But analysing only the material side of environmental flows brings us half way understanding questions of sustainability. This article reports on the development of a more integrative approach in studying environmental impacts of agro-industrial systems in Asia, taking tapioca (cassava starch) processing in Vietnam as an example. The analysis of material flows and technological options to close material cycles is combined with an actor-network analysis from three angles: a policy, an economic and a social perspective, respectively. The paper finally assesses the additional value of the developed methodology and points out ways for further investigation and development of a more integrative approach to industrial transformations
Cassave friet : een verkenning om gefrituurde cassaveproducten in Nederland op de markt te brengen
Essers, A.J.A. - \ 2005
Wageningen : Wetenschapswinkel Wageningen UR (Rapport / Wetenschapswinkel Wageningen UR 219) - ISBN 9789067549608 - 22
cassave - gebakken voedsel - marketing van voedingsmiddelen - haalbaarheidsstudies - productontwikkeling - nederland - cassava - fried foods - food marketing - feasibility studies - product development - netherlands
Weeds as agricultural constraint in Benin: results of a diagnostic study
Vissoh, P.V. ; Gbèhounou, G. ; Ahanchedé, A. ; Kuyper, T.W. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2004
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 52 (2004)3/4. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 305 - 329.
speargrass imperata-cylindrica - striga-hermonthica - cover crops - cassava - suppression - systems
Weeds are an emerging constraint on crop production, as a result of population pressure and more intensive use of cultivated land. A diagnostic study was carried out from June through August 2002 in the five agro-ecological zones of Benin (1) to identify the relative importance of weeds among major production constraints, (2) to better understand farmers’ perceptions of weed problems, and (3) to take cognizance of their reactions and the different actors involved in weed management technology development. The study also aimed at suggesting the development of weed management strategies that work and are acceptable under small-scale farmers’ conditions. Data were collected through semi-structured and unstructured group and/or individual interviews, and through participant observation, transect studies and weed identification during field visits. The results show considerable diversity in biophysical constraints and socio-economic conditions. Population density has led to high pressure on arable land, resulting in land degradation and weed problems. In all situations, pernicious (Imperata cylindrica, Cyperus spp., Commelina spp.) and parasitic (Striga spp.) weeds are difficult to eradicate, causing substantial food crop yield losses and threatening the livelihood of people. Land and labour shortage, low commodity prices and lack of credit were the main constraints hindering weed management. Causes, effects and consequences were analysed, taking into account the socio-economic context. The study’s findings with respect to weed management measures, and their adaptation and constraints in using them, suggest that effective and acceptable weed management strategies should be developed, taking into account both biological and social science perspectives with a focus on adding value to indigenous knowledge. Promising strategies for discovery learning about weed management were identified, in order to fostersustainable crop production in Benin.
Infochemical use by predatory mites of the cassava green mite in a multitrophic context
Gnanvossou, D. - \ 2002
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): M. Dicke; R. Hanna. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058085689 - 152
cassave - mijten - predatoren - lokstoffen - manihot esculenta - mononychellus tanajoa - gastheer parasiet relaties - voedselketens - vluchtige verbindingen - phytoseiidae - cassava - mites - phytoseiidae - predators - attractants - volatile compounds - manihot esculenta - mononychellus tanajoa - host parasite relationships - food chains
This thesis describes research on multitrophic interactions in a system consisting of (1) cassava plants ( Manihot esculenta ), (2) three herbivorous mites, i.e. the cassava green mite Mononychellus tanajoa, the red spider mite Oligonychus gossypii and the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae and (3) two exotic predatory mites Typhlodromalus manihoti and T. aripo , in Africa. The objectives are to understand how the two exotic predators (i) exploit chemical information to locate the target prey in pure and mixed odors conditions with the alternative prey mites, (ii) perform when feeding on different prey mite species and (iii) interact with each other.
The predatory mites, T. manihoti and T. aripo were attracted to cassava leaves infested by M. tanajoa compared with non-infested leaves, when the predators were starved for 2, 6 or 10 hours. They were not attracted to 400 female M. tanajoa removed from infested plants nor to mechanically wounded leaves. In a choice situation, T. manihoti and T. aripo preferred odors from leaves infested by M. tanajoa to odors from leaves infested by O. gossypii regardless of the ratio M. tanajoa : O. gossypii . When M. tanajoa -infested leaves and T. urticae -infested leaves were offered in a choice situation, the response of the two predator species depended on the density of T. urticae . Typhlodromalus manihoti and T. aripo were attracted to odors from cassava leaves infested with both M. tanajoa and O. gossypii or to a mixture of odors from leaves infested with M. tanajoa and odors from leaves infested with O. gossypii, when compared to odors from non-infested leaves. In contrast, mixed odors from M. tanajoa -infested leaves and T. urticae -infested leaves did not yield a preference over odors from non-infested leaves.
Typhlodromalus manihotiand T. aripo had a higher intrinsic rate of population increase (rm) and net reproduction (Ro), and a shorter generation time and doubling time on when they were feeding on M. tanajoa than on O. gossypii or T. urticae . Prey-related odor preference matched predator performance if the key prey is compared to the two inferior prey mite species.
Typhlodromalus aripodisplayed a marked preference for odors emitted from either infested cassava apices or infested young cassava leaves over infested old cassava leaves but showed equal preference for odors from apices and young leaves both infested with M. tanajoa . Typhlodromalus manihoti did not discriminate between volatiles from the three infested cassava plant parts. This mirrors the differential distribution of the two predators on cassava plant foliage.
Carnivorous arthropods when searching for adequate food and habitat for themselves and their progeny should in the meantime avoid becoming food for other organisms. Intraguild interactions have been investigated for the predatory mite species T. manihoti , T. aripo and the native species Euseius fustis . Typhlodromalus manihoti is able to discriminate between odors from patches with con- and heterospecific competitors and prefers to visit patches with heterospecifics. Typhlodromalus aripo preferred to move away from patches with heterospecifics or conspecifics. Euseius fustis avoided odors from patches with conspecifics as well as odors from patches with the heterospecifics T. manihoti and T. aripo .
In conclusion, this thesis shows that the distribution and diversity of prey species, intraguild predation and competition are likely to play an important role in infochemical use by T. manihoti and T. aripo . In addition to predator-prey interactions, interactions between predators can also be considered as important factors affecting population dynamics of both prey and predators.
Analysis of post-harvest deterioration in tuberous roots of cassava (Manihot esculenta Grantz)
Huang, J. - \ 2001
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): R.G.F. Visser; E. Jacobsen. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058085481 - 103
manihot esculenta - cassave - bederf na de oogst - bewaarfysiologie - biochemie - enzymen - genetische merkers - genetische transformatie - moleculaire genetica - transgene planten - manihot esculenta - cassava - postharvest decay - postharvest physiology - biochemistry - enzymes - genetic markers - genetic transformation - molecular genetics - transgenic plants
This thesis deals with the analysis of postharvest physiological deterioration (PPD) in cassava tuberous roots at the physiological, biochemical and molecular level. By setting up a uniform visual system to monitor the onset and maintenance of PPD under the experimental conditions, amongst others physico-chemical properties of starch were characterized. Furthermore using this system, around 6,000 TDFs (transcript derived fragments) were screened via 100 primer combinations using cDNA-AFLP. 70 TDFs showing an up-regulated, a down regulated or a transiently expression pattern were isolated following the first 72 hours of PPD. Based on the sequence information, a functional catalogue of these TDFs was established. By concentrating on enzymes possibly involved in oxidative stress, biochemical results indicated that PPD may be a peroxidase-mediated process. Using a reverse genetics approach, the putative cassava dad1 (defender against cell death gene 1) homologue was transformed into cassava FEC (friable embryogenic callus) lines. Transgenic plants were produced and characterized.