Cassava Study


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Many developing countries still have a significant quantity of land available that is well adapted to rain-fed crops – about as much as now is being farmed (over 1.7 billion acres). These lands do not include areas inhabited by human beings, forests, or protected areas.

If a country can produce and export biofuels, it will have a stronger economy and more resources to address the needs of the poor.

Africa, with its significant sugar cane/Cassava production potential, is often cited as a region that could profit from experience and technology, although obstacles to realizing it (infrastructure, institutional, etc.) should not be underestimated.

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Cassava Study

  1. 1. Cassava Study:One recent study concluded that by 2050, biomass theoretically could supply 65% of the world’scurrent energy consumption, with sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America accountingfor roughly half of this global potential. In tropical countries, high crop yields and lower costs for landand labor provide an economic advantage that is hard for countries in temperate regions to match.Cassava has erupted into the first decade of the third millennium as a crop that can contribute to agro-industrial and small-farmer development in the tropics. Cassava is progressively shifting roles frombeing a staple food for human consumption to becoming an efficient industrial crop particularly indeveloping economies of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Cassava owes part of its popularity to its highrate of conversion of solar energy into starch per unit area, as compared to other starchy staple cropse.g., rice and maize. In addition to the high carbohydrate content (74 - 85% of its total storage root dryweight), it contains varying amounts of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin A (carotenes), iron, zinc,calcium, potassium and protein that account for its wide popularity .To a large extent, the difference between the progression of cassava starch-based industries in the ACPregion and Asia is the differential Government commitment towards cassava commercialization andincreasing investment in research and development. The livestock sector has also been targeted forutilisation of cassava either through minimal processing i.e., silage or use of well-refined feed rations.Equally important is the need to undertake strategic research to identify, develop and promote cassavavarieties that can meet animal feed standards and satisfy the needs of small herders as well as largelivestock producers for high quality feed at affordable prices. Together, these initiatives will increasethe utilisation of cassava in animal feed and hence increase the profitability of the livestock sector inthe ACP region.In Africa, most cassava research is geared towards addressing key production and post-harvestconstraints, with limited efforts devoted towards increasing the competitiveness of cassava in theindustrial sector. Nevertheless, some strategic pioneering research is underway in different parts of thecontinent. For example, in partnership with the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Uganda hasembarked on starch metabolism studies Also, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA),based in Nigeria, is having special interest in: 1. enhancing beta carotene, zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and protein levels in cassava; 2. genetic modification of cassava starch functionality and; 3. Development of cassava varieties with varied starch content and profiles.It is rather surprising to note that despite the huge acreage of cassava in Africa, Governmentcommitment to this crop varies considerably between countries. For example, Ghana and Nigeria standout as countries on the continent that have witnessed full and genuine presidential support forpromotion of cassava starch.The above selected examples strongly illustrate existing opportunities that can permit thetransformation of cassava from being a staple food crop to an industrial crop in the ACP region, as hasbeen witnessed in Asia and Latin America. These opportunities are broadly characterized as: 1. cassava being irreplaceable by other starches i.e., cassava starch as the best; 2. cassava is rated poor as compared to other starch crops and; 3. Cassava is easily interchangeable with other starches.
  2. 2. Cassava starch utility:Food products- Native tapioca starch is widely applied in food recipes such as bakery products. It isalso used to produce extruded snacks and tapioca pearls. Modified starch, or starch derivatives, hasbeen applied as thickening, binding, texturizing and stabilizing agents.Uses as fillers, sweeteners,flavor carriers and fat replacement in many food products include canned food, frozen food, dry mixes,baked goods, snacks, dressings, soups, sauces, dairy products, meat and fish products and infant food.Beverage- Modified tapioca starch is used as a colloid stabilizer in beverages that include solidconstituents. Tapioca starch-based sweeteners can be produced with considerably higher yields thansugar and are used in beverages as a sugar replacement. In combination with other sweetenercomponents, it can usually contribute to satisfying the customer’s requirement. High dextroseequivalent syrups of tapioca-based hydrolysate are also good sources of easily fermentable sugars forbrewery applications.Confectionery- Native tapioca and diverse types of modified tapioca starch are used in confectioneryfor different purposes such as gelling, thickening; texture stabilizing, foam strengthening,crystallization inhibition, adhesion, film forming, and glazing. Low viscosity tapioca starches are widelyused in gelled confectioneries such as jellies and gums. The most often used one is acid-thinned starchdue to its high retro-gradation and gel formation characteristics, which are enhanced by the presenceof sugars. Powdered starches are used as mould release agents when casting confectioneries. Starch-based polyols make the manufacture of sugar-free chewing gum possible.Chemicals- Tapioca starch-based syrups are obtained economically by acid and/or enzyme processesand used as feedstock to make various chemicals, including monosodium glutamate, amino acids,organic acids, alcohols, ketones, vitamins and antibiotics.Production techniques include chemical reaction, fermentation and other biotechnological processes.Adhesives & Glue- Tapioca starch-based dextrins are excellent adhesives and used in manyapplications including corrugated board, paper-bags, laminated board, gummed paper, tapes, labels,stamps and envelopes.Paper- Modified tapioca starches are applied in the paper industry to improve paper quality, increaseproduction rates, and improve pulp yield. Cationic starches are employed to flocculate pulp, increasingde-watering rates on the wet end. Faster machine speeds and better pulp yields result. The starchremains in the finished paper, acting as an internal sizing agent to increase the paper strength. Lowviscosity starches, such as oxidized starches, are applied as surface sizing to improve the strength andcontrol ink absorption properties for printing and writing. Modified tapioca starches are also used as pigment binder for surface coating to obtain a smooth, white paper.Textile- Tapioca starches are used in the textile industry as sizing agents to stiffen and protect thethread for improved weaving efficiency. They are also used as finishing agents to obtain smoothfabrics, and color thickeners to obtain sharp and durable printed fabrics. For this purpose, thin-boiledstarches are usually preferred.Pharmacy and Cosmetics- Native and modified tapioca starches are used as binders, fillers anddisintegrating agents for tablet production. Specialty modified starches are used as a carrier for skinmoisturizers, which are frequently mineral oil based. Other modified starches are used as emulsifiers,encapsulating agents (vitamins), sizing (mousse for hair), thickeners (shampoo), etc.Biodegradable materials- Native and modified tapioca starches can be blended with petroleum-basedor synthetic polymers to improve the biodegradability and minimize the production cost of moreenvironmentally friendly materials.
  3. 3. Applications of modified tapioca starch in food industry-Starch type Functionality/Property Application- Pre-gelatinized starch Thickening, Cold water Instantsoups, instant soluble puddings, sauces, bakery mixes, frozen food Acid-thinned starch Lower viscosity,High Gum, candies, formulated retrogradation, Strong gel liquid food Dextrins Binding, coating,Confectionery, baking,encapsulation flavorings, spices, oils Oxidized starch Stabilizer, adhesives,Formulated food, batter,gelling, clarifying agent gum, confectionery Starch ethers Stabilizer, fatreplacement Soups, puddings, frozen(Hydroxy-alkyl starch food Carboxy-methyl starch)Starch esterStabilizer, thickening Candies, emulsion (Acetylated starch agent, clarification Phosphate mono-esterstarch)Cross-linked starch Thickening, stabilizer, Pie fillings, breads, frozen (Di-starch phosphate)texturizing agent products, bakery, pudding,instant foods, soups,gravies, salad dressing.More than 228 million tons of cassava was produced worldwide in 2007, of which Africa accountedfor 52%. In 2007, Nigeria produced 46 million tons making it the worlds largest producer. According to2002 FAO estimates, Africa exports only one ton of cassava annually. Cassava production dependson a supply of quality stem cuttings. The multiplication rate of planting materials is very lowcompared to grain crops, which are propagated by true seeds. In addition, cassava stem cuttings arebulky and highly perishable as they dry up within a few days.Harvesting - Nineteen million hectares of cassava were planted worldwide in 2007, with about 63% inAfrica. Cassava requires less labor than all other staple crops (21% in working days as compared tomaize, yam and rice). However, it requires considerable postharvest labor because the roots arehighly perishable and must be processed into a storable form soon after harvest. Roots can beharvested between six months and three years after planting.Consumption- Nearly every person in Africa eats around 80 kilograms of cassava per year. It isestimated that 37% of dietary energy comes from cassava. The Democratic Republic of Congo is thelargest consumer of cassava in SSA, followed by Nigeria.Disease and constraints- Major pests of cassava in SSA are the cassava green mite and the variegatedgrasshopper. The main diseases affecting cassava are cassava mosaic disease (CMD), cassava bacterialblight, cassava anthracnose disease, and root rot. CMD alone accounted for an estimated 47% of Eastand Central Africas cassava production losses during a serious outbreak beginning in the early 1990suntil 2006. Pests, disease and poor cultivation practices combined can cause yield losses as high as 50%in all of Africa.Opportunity in Biofuels development:Biofuels offer Africa the chance to supply itself with alternative energy sources, and also to become amajor supplier of these sources for developed markets. Yet, challenges - from creating the relevantinfrastructure to competition for biofuels crops from food markets - remain. It is rather surprising tonote that despite the huge acreage of cassava in Africa, Government commitment to this crop variesconsiderably between countries. For example, Ghana and Nigeria standout as countries on thecontinent that have witnessed full and genuine presidential support for promotion of cassava starch.The above selected examples strongly illustrate existing opportunities that can permit thetransformation of cassava from being a staple food crop to an industrial crop in the ACP region, as hasbeen witnessed in Asia and Latin America.These opportunities are broadly characterized as: 1. cassava being irreplaceable by other starches i.e., cassava starch as the best; 2. cassava is rated poor as compared to other starch crops and; 3. Cassava is easily interchangeable with other starches.
  4. 4. Utilizing biomass to produce biofuels and chemical products is an important direction for realizingsustainable development. Biomass is a kind of renewable resource, but it is also significant to promotean ecological development pattern in Biorefinery processes by raising resource efficiency, reducingconsumption of energy and water, decreasing waste emission as well as constituting industrialsymbiosis products network. Thus, it is possible to reach overall sustainable development of theBiorefinery industry.Different biomass raw materials such as corn, wheat, sweet potato, cassava and oil plants arefermented to produce different kinds of products including fuel ethanol, biodiesel, 1,3-propanediol,butanediol, acetone, butanol, lactic acid and dry barm. And bioethanol will be converted intobioethene in the next stage.The key to cassavas future in global and domestic starch markets will be improvements in efficiencyand quality, and a reduction in production costs. For a model of successful cassava starch industrydevelopment, African and Latin American countries need look no further than Thailand, the worlds No.1 producer. The Thai industry began more than 50 years ago, and expanded rapidly during the 1990s,when trade restrictions sharply reduced the European market for Thai dried cassava chips, used asanimal feed.Thailand now uses about 50 percent of its annual cassava root production, of around 18 million tons, toextract some two million tons of starch. Half of it is destined for domestic food and non-foodindustries, the rest being exported, mainly to Japan and Taiwan, and increasingly in the form ofhigher-value modified starch for specialized applications. Thailand is the world’s largest exporter oftapioca starch and starch derivatives, with annual production of over 2 million tons of starch. Thecountry is also exploring a promising new market for its starch - as raw material for production ofethanol used as a biofuels. The leading Thai petroleum company has announced a feasibility study for aplant that would use cassava to produce one million litres of ethanol per day.Fledgling cassava starch industries concentrate initially on meeting domestic demand - a study ofglobal cassava markets found that tropical countries were importing annually maize starch andderivatives to a value of more than $80 million. In many countries, the study found, almost all importscould be replaced with locally-made cassava starch or, for simple applications, even by good-qualitycassava flour.In Africa, there are signs of growing interest in using locally-made cassava starch as an importsubstitute. Cassava starch start-ups have recently been established in Uganda, Tanzania, andMadagascar, while in Malawi industries have shown interest in buying local cassava starch for use inpaper, cardboard, sweets and food processing. Meanwhile, the regions leading cassava producer,Nigeria, has recently announced an ambitious programme aimed at producing ethanol biofuel fromcassava. With better farmer management, we can produce an average of 30 to 50 tonnes of cassava perhectare as opposed to the 5 tons per hectare from local varieties commonly used by farmers in theseareas.In addition, opportunities exist for African-produced biofuels to enter the U.S. market under theAfrican Growth and Opportunities Act, Washington’s answer to EBA. Import markets are developing inother major global economies like Japan, and a handful of African countries are looking at biofuel useas well. The strategies established in the main four countries are also laying down guidelines for taxbreaks and at times guaranteeing prices for producers and establishing regulatory structures.Many of Africa’s most viable biofuel producers - in terms of production costs for sugarcane, maize orcassava - are landlocked, however, and don’t have the transportation infrastructure in place to enableexport of the fuels, or immediate plans for infrastructure investment like Mozambique. Severalcountries in Africa are developing biofuel policies to help state-owned and commercial companies alikebring about biofuel production, and some are creating local markets. Small countries like Rwanda,
  5. 5. which are not only landlocked but suffer from high petroleum import costs, are looking at biodieselproduction for the local market.Although production of biofuels in West Africa may at present be insignificant compared to the rest ofthe world market, the countries in the region seem determined to exploit what they see as a godsendof a market.A recent report by the OECD shows that the West African nations are viewing this new market as apromising way of boosting their own standing and enhancing their economies. In almost all WestAfrican countries, the new biofuels business is being negotiated by and carried out by large multinationals.These countries are seen as rich resources to be exploited, because of their potential to grow biofuelcrops. They have vast swathes of unused agricultural land that has high potential to grow the rawmaterials for biofuels. The OECD says that this potential for exploitation by the multinationals and thepotential for growth in the biofuels industry in West Africa present several challenges to the countries.It says they have to ensure that land competition with land used for food purposes is avoided and thatnatural capital is observed.The OECD says they must "negotiate win-win agreements with multinationals, involving three parties:the public and private sectors as well as representatives from local communities. This would allow thebest possible benefit to be obtained from the economic and social effects of producing green fuels: toensure that sufficient income is earned, the largest possible number of local jobs is created and thatthe development of cooperative distilleries and/or local investment is encouraged."The OECD adds that those investing in biofuel production in these countries will naturally gravitatetowards the countries where conditions are most favorable - where regulatory, environmental andethical constraints are at a minimum. Already four countries in the region - Ghana, Nigeria, Sengal andMali - have established national strategies for biofuels production. The national strategies have setproduction targets for the four countries which will see 320,000 hectares of Jatropha curcas in Senegalin 2012, a million hectares in Ghana in the medium term, 25 million litres of ethanol annually in Malibetween 2008 and 2023. • Mali has also just set up a biofuels agency to centralise the government policies and set technical and quality standards for biofuel products. The National Biofuel Development Agency (ANADEB) will be responsible for overseeing the National Energy Policy and the Renewable Energy Development Strategy brought in in 2006, and last years National Biofuel Development Strategy. However, the OECD concludes that there are genuine prospects for Africa and West Africa in particular to make the most of the situation, provided the opportunity of the new market is grasped together with the positive impacts it will have on economic growth, employment and development and at the same time while it recognizes the risks the new market will also offer. • • The Zambian Governments vision for the agriculture sector up to 2015 and beyond will be promoted taking into account the comparative advantage in crops, livestock, and fisheries production. The long term vision for the sector encompasses achieving national food security for the majority of the Zambian population through increased yields and improved post harvest management and utilisation. The Government will Endeavour to develop commercial agriculture with all the farmers producing for domestic and export markets.Promoting a competitive and efficient agriculture base on regional comparative advantage and thedevelopment of a diversified agriculture linked to a well developed agro-business industry for valueadding and exports are other efforts being pursued. Notwithstanding the emphasis on development of
  6. 6. small scale famers, a conducive environment is being provided for growth of large scale farming sectorin order to maximize the synergies between the two. Focus will continue being on providing publicgoods that are needed for efficient growth such as rural infrastructure, basic research, and diseaseepidemic and pest control.The role of the public sector will increasingly be confined to policy formulation, enforcement oflegislation, regulation, and inspection, maintenance of the national strategic food reserves.Agribusiness is being encouraged and promoted to strengthen linkages with small scale farmers throughincreased private sector participation in agriculture service delivery. The ministry of agriculture willalso ensure increasingly commercialization and cost share some services it is currently providing. TheGovernment will continue partnering with the private sector and Non Governmental Organisations andcooperating partners to ensure attainment of food security for the majority household with at least 90per cent of the population being food secured. • The cassava processing industry in Indonesia is a very profitable business. Aside from the major starch product, the by-products can be used to manufacture other useful products. PT Budi Acid Jaya Tbk (BUDI) is one of the companies focusing on the production of cassava or tapioca starch in Indonesia. To take advantage of tapiocas by-product called onggok, the company uses it to produce higher value-added product such as citric acid.With the countrys focus on biofuels, the company has planned to build a cassava-based bioethanolmanufacturing plant with a capacity of 75,000 kilo liters. The plant costing US$43 million will belocated in Lampung, Indonesia. Deputy President Director of BUDI, Sudarmo Tasmin, said that thedevelopment plan was a response to the promising prospect of renewable energy business and thesoaring oil price which now exceeds more than US$ 100 per barel. The establishment of the plant isbeing conducted in collaboration with a Japanese company, to which 50% of the produced bioethanolwill be sold. • The project (IFAD-ICRISAT) facilitates entrepreneurs to utilize sweet sorghum stalks and cassava roots in producing ethanol, and seeds of jatropha in producing bio-diesel. The above program will be implemented by sensitizing farmers, research partners and other stakeholders in the production and supply chain about biofuel production.This will enable them to work together and make use of the projects research outputs, such as,improved target crop cultivars, production packages, seed systems, processing technologies (includingmanagement of effluents and exploitation of by-products), and learn about innovative input andmarket linkages developed for different agro-eco-regions in the target countries.In addition, the project draws upon the strength of small-scale farmers know-how in formulating andimplementing various activities. The overall purpose of the project is thus to facilitate small-scalefarmers and landless poor to take advantage of the market demand for their crops for bio-fuelproduction and/or utilize the bio-fuels for local use (e.g. running motor pump), which in turn, will helpthem improve their livelihoods and rehabilitate the degraded lands (wherever jatropha and localspecies of bio-diesel plantations are taken up). The project also envisages facilitating the developmentof farmer-friendly procedures to enable them to take advantage of the CDM, of the Kyoto protocol, toimprove their livelihoods. The project contributes to energy self-sufficiency of the target countries.Cassava Developments:The crop produces reasonably well under marginal conditions of climate and soil and is frequentlyidentified as a famine reserve due to its tolerance to drought and infertile soils, and its ability torecover from disease and pest attacks. It can also produce competitively in non-marginal areas.Cassava offers the advantage of a flexible harvesting date, allowing farmers to keep the roots in theground until needed. Remarkably every part of the plant can be exploited: in addition to the roots thefresh foliage is also consumed in several regions of the world and the lignified stems are used as
  7. 7. planting material. Because of its unique characteristics cassava grows in the marginal environmentswhere poverty and malnourishment are also very prevalent.During the 1993-95 periods, about 16.5 million hectares were grown with cassava worldwide, producing164 million tons of roots. For the period 1993 to 2020 annual growth of cassava production wasestimated to range between 1.74 and 1.95% / year. The area of cassava under marginal environmentshas been continuously increasing, particularly for regions with poorer soils and lengthy dry seasons.Research -In the past an emphasis was given to breeding cassava with white roots. However,considerable efforts were recently invested in measuring the variability for its carotenoids contents inroots and leaves from thousands of clones, along with other relevant information. It was found thathigh levels of carotenoids (more than 1 and 96 mg/100 g of fresh root or leaf tissue, respectively) couldbe found in certain clones. High levels of carotenoids were associated with yellow coloration, whichfacilitates the selection for high nutritional value. Clones with yellow roots, low cyanide level (acommon characteristic in cassava) and excellent cooking quality have been identified.Carotenoids levels in cassava roots were measured in different plants (same clone), different roots(same plant) and different sections of the same roots. The environmental effect on cassava was alsomeasured. These studies allowed the conclusion that the high-carotene trait is fairly stable. Stability ofcarotenes upon different root processing methods was also measured. Boiling cassava roots willeliminate the cyanide present in them but will retain about 60% of the original levels of carotenoids.Furthermore, a detailed study of the quality of carotenoids in the roots revealed that more than 90% isß-carotene. An important finding because this particular pigment has the largest capacity to be turnedinto vitamin A by the human body.One interesting discovery was that the high-carotene trait seems to delay or reduce the onset of post-harvest physiological deterioration (PPD) of the roots. PPD is a natural process that spoils cassava rootsone or two days after harvest. The short post-harvest storage life of cassava is a characteristic thatlimits the marketability of the roots and a delayed or reduced PPD would encourage farmers to growyellow-rooted cassava clones.Future Activities-The nutritional value of cassava foliage can also be exploited. In addition to the highlevels of carotenoids, it has excellent amounts of protein and minerals. One problem that thecarotenoids present in the foliage have, however, is the low bioavailability that increasing evidence issuggesting from green vegetables.The latest among them is the finding of scientists from the Kasetsart University, Bangkok and theCassava and Starch Technology Research Unit of the National Centre for Genetic Engineering andBiotechnology, Thailand, that cassava chips are the most suitable raw material for ethanol production.The production cost and time can be minimised through the simultaneous saccharification andfermentation process as already implemented in bioethanol production from cereal grains.Thailand produces about 20 million ton of cassava a year. Researchers have found that cassava was abetter feedstock to produce daily the required two million litre of ethanol for its 10% fuel substitutionplan. About 80-90% of the roots are consumed by starch and the chip and pellet industry. The balanceis available for ethanol production, unlike sugarcane or molasses, which are in short supply in Thailand.The thermal properties of seven commercial modified cassava starches, including oxidized, acetylated,cross-linked, and combined acetylated and cross-linked starches were studied by differential scanningcalorimetry (DSC) in the glassy and rubbery states. Increase in gel hardness in the rubbery state duringstorage was also monitored, as well as gelatinization behavior. The modified starches were preparedfrom granular starch and had a degree of substitution in the range 0-0.053. The glass transitiontemperatures (Tg) of the modified starches were 3-6°C significantly lower than that of the non-modified starch.
  8. 8. The physical aging peak temperatures were also significantly reduced by 2-3°C, compared to the non-modified starch, while aging enthalpies increased. Starch modifications did not decrease amylopectinretrogradation significantly. During storage, the oxidized starch gel became significantly harder thanthe non-modified starch gel, while the hardness of the acetylated and/or cross-linked starch gels wassignificantly reduced, which confirmed that acetylation or cross-linking can decrease hardness, evenwhen the extent of modification is limited. Different modifications controlled different properties ofthe starch system, with cross-linking and acetylation influencing the gelatinization behavior and thechanges in starch gel texture during storage, respectively.Cassava chain development in West AfricaGoal-To improve food security, raise rural incomes and permit the transition to sustainable market-driven farming systems and supply linesPurpose-To build prototype competitive and market-based cassava commodity chains by solving keybottlenecksDescription-The agribusiness sector is hardly using cassava as a raw material (less than 1%). Processingis limited to very few hands, with less efficient equipment, low product quality, and no productdiversification. Though traditional cassava products will continue to dominate West African cassava-marketing channels for the foreseeable future, West African governments see the development ofindustrial markets for cassava products as a new opportunity for their farmers and as an engine ofeconomic growth.The proposed project therefore aims at adding value to cassava production in order to increase theincomes of producers and small-scale processors, and to enhance the accessibility of safe cassavaproducts for consumers. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable improvements inthe welfare and livelihoods of farmers, processors in the cassava sector, raising incomes of farmers,processors and local marketers in selected areas in Sierra Leone, Benin, and Nigeria, and thereby alsoincreasing food security.The project purpose is to develop competitive cassava commodity chains for a reliable supply ofprocessed products for food and non-food industrial use, by upgrading and expanding traditionalprocessing techniques for making regionally widely accepted traditional products, and developing thehigh quality cassava flour (HQCF) supply chain in Sierra Leone, Benin, and Nigeria.The main theme of the project is the addition of value to cassava production in order to increase theincomes of farmers and small to medium scale processors, and to enhance supply of safe cassavaproducts for consumers. The three project components are: A: Development of supply lines for highquality cassava flour (HQCF) for bakery and confectionary markets B: Upgrading traditional cassavaprocessing plants for defined markets C: Project coordination and backstopping, monitoring andevaluation, exchange and dissemination of resultsThe project focuses on small and medium scale enterprises and associations of processors as a means oflinking producers and processors with market demand. The project will use public-private sectorpartnerships to develop the cassava sub-sector in the region. The regional dimension of the project willenhance exchange of experiences. Small and medium scale enterprises are expected to benefit fromincreased access to knowledge and services. It is expected that the development of appropriateprototypes of cassava processing units (3 SMEs and 8 MPCs) coupled with various capacity buildings oncassava production, processing and enterprise development will lead to higher revenues and betterworking conditions for the labor force involved, which is largely composed of women (over 80% incassava processing centers throughout West Africa).
  9. 9. Farmers and processors will benefit from structured supply lines. Farmers will receive training on theapplication of new disease resistant and high yielding IITA varieties. End users will benefit from accessto affordable products of good qualityPotential impacts/potential beneficiaries- Target Group: The private sector stakeholders to betargeted will be small and medium size. (Typical income in traditional processing is between $1-2/day.) The main characteristic is that they are existing enterprises, reliable, willing to be part of aparticipatory experiment and willing to show and train others without Benefit: They should be locatedin the dryer Northern or middle part of the countries where the supply and price of roots, and sun-drying conditions are favourable. - In Sierra Leone, the program will be dealing with small private gariunits, with a present production of some 100/500 kg/day.Further, it is envisaged to include UPWARDS, a local NGO in the North, that can be seen as a mediumto large commercial enterprise, as they cultivate some 1500 ha of cassava, but they also involve some500 farming families.Capacity building is in their mandate. - In Benin, the private sector is engaged through theinternational NGO VECO-Benin, who is working with village associations of processors, small ruralenterprises and local bakeries. - In Ghana, cassava processing is already more advanced. Private sectorpartners will mainly be existing small and medium size cassava processing enterprises, owned byindividuals or in some cases by groupsExpected results- Appropriate and profitable drying technology is developed and promoted. Supplylines for HQCF are being developed Appropriate prototype plants for production of traditional cassavaproducts have been designed, validated by users and promoted Pilot supply lines and initiatives for useof cassava in the feed market are being developed Appropriate technology for utilisation of cassava inthe domestic feed industry is being tested. Project managed and coordinated effectively andefficiently. Results and experiences exchanged and disseminatedGreat Lakes Cassava InitiativeGoal-To strengthen the capacity of 60 partners to prepare for and respond to the present cassavamosaic disease and emerging cassava brown streak disease pandemics that threaten food security andincomes of cassavaPurpose-To strengthen the capacity of 60 local African partners and approximately 1.15 millionfarmers within four years to address cassava mosaic disease and the emerging cassava brown streakpandemics that threaten food security and incomes of cassava dependent farm families in Burundi,Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and UgandaDescription-Over four years, the Great Lakes Cassava Initiative will strengthen the capacity of 60partners to prepare for and respond to the present cassava mosaic disease and emerging cassava brownstreak disease pandemics that threaten food security and incomes of cassava dependent farm familiesin six Great Lake countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania andUganda.Catholic Relief Services, with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, will developsustainable capacity in the region to diagnose and monitor the diseases and predict their spread.Linking with existing breeding programs, farmer evaluation of new varieties and integrated cropmanagement options, decentralized seed systems and farmer training involving over 4,100 farmergroups will increase yields by 50% for approximately 1.15 million farm families (approaching 7 millionpersons), generating $58 million in revenue.
  10. 10. This will enable farmers to exploit emerging market opportunities in collaboration with the NaturalResources Institute Cassava Adding Value for Africa. Engaging with and supporting Pan African, regionaland country cassava initiatives, the Great Lakes Cassava Initiative will lay the foundation for going toscale in these six countries and expanding into Southern and West Central Africa.Cassava R&D has in the recent past received substantial impetus with impressive research findings,significantly enhanced support from traditional sources of funding like Rockefeller Foundation, USAID,Danida and others. New sources of funding like the Gates Foundation support the Harvest Plus and theBioCassava Plus projects while the Cassava Genome Sequencing project is being funded by the US Deptof Energy. The GCP is convening its first scientific meeting, GCP-I, to raise awareness of theimportance of the cassava crop in the world, to review recent scientific progress, identify and setpriorities for new opportunities and challenges as well as chart a course for seeking for support forareas of cassava R&D for which support is currently inadequate or lacking.Scientists have determined how to fortify the cassava plant, a staple root crop in many developingcountries, with enough vitamins, minerals and protein to provide the poor and malnourished with adays worth of nutrition in a single meal.The researchers have further engineered the cassava plant so it can resist the crops most damagingviral threats and are refining methods to reduce cyanogens, substances that yield poisonous cyanide ifthey are not properly removed from the food before consumption. The reduction of cyanogens also canshorten the time it takes to process the plant into food, which typically requires three to six days tocomplete. Studies also are under way to extend the plants shelf life so it can be stored or shipped.The international team of scientists hopes to translate the greenhouse research into a product that canbe field tested in at least two African nations by 2010. Funded by more than $12.1 million in grantsfrom the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the group of researchers is led by Richard Sayre, a professorof plant cellular and molecular biology at Ohio State University."Some biofortification strategies have the objective of providing only a third of the daily adult nutritionrequirements since consumers typically get the rest of their nutritional requirements from other foodsin their diet. But global food prices have recently gone sky high, meaning that many of the poorestpeople are now eating just one meal a day, primarily their staple food.The roots can be banked in the ground for up to three years, providing food security, but the plantmust undergo time-consuming processing immediately after harvest to remove compounds thatgenerate cyanide. Unprocessed roots also deteriorate within 48 hours after harvest, limiting the foodsshelf life. And a plant disease caused by the geminivirus reduces yields by 30 percent to 50 percent inmany areas in sub-Saharan Africa, a major blow to farm productivity.Sayre and colleagues from multiple institutions set out to tackle virtually all of cassavas problems tomake the plant more nutritious and to increase the crops revenue-producing potential for farmers.Sayre reported that the research team has been able to address each of the plants deficiencies inindividual transgenic plants. The next step will be to combine some or all of the bioengineered traitsinto a single, farmer-preferred cultivar, with the goal of eventually developing cassava varieties thatcarry all of the improvements developed by the researchers."Weve begun field trials in Puerto Rico to make sure the plants perform as well outside as they do ingreenhouses, and we hope to start field trials in the target countries of Nigeria and Kenya by 2009,"Sayre said.The labs in the project have used a variety of techniques to improve on the model cassava plant usedfor the research. They used genes that facilitate mineral transport to produce a cassava root that
  11. 11. accumulates more iron and zinc from the soil. To fortify the plants with a form of vitamin E and beta-carotene (also called pro-vitamin A because it converts to vitamin A in the body), the scientistsintroduced genes into the plant that increase terpenoid and carotenoid production, the precursors forpro-vitamin A and vitamin E. They achieved a 30-fold increase in pro-vitamin A, which is critical forhuman vision, bone and skin health, metabolism and immune function.Adding protein to the cassava plant has posed a challenge, Sayre said. The scientists discovered thatmost of the nitrogen required to make the amino acids used for protein synthesis in roots is derivedfrom the cyanogens that also cause cyanide toxicity. So their strategy for increasing protein levels inroots focuses on accelerating the conversion of cyanide-containing compounds into protein rather thancompletely eliminating cyanogen production, which would hinder the efforts to increase proteinproduction, Sayre explained. To further address the cyanide problem, the scientists have alsodeveloped a way to accelerate the processing methods required to remove cyanide -- a days-longcombination of peeling, soaking and drying the roots before they are eaten.To strengthen the cassava plants resistance to viruses, the scientists introduced a protein and smallinterfering RNA molecules that interfere with the viruses ability to reproduce.Prolonging cassavas shelf life has involved the development of a hybrid species that crosses tworelated plants native to Texas and Brazil. The strategy, still in development, will combine theproperties of these plants and additional genes that function as antioxidants, slowing the rottingprocess that has been traced to the production of free radicals that damage and kill cells in newlyharvested cassava roots.The first cassava product the team plans to develop for investigations in the field will likely include thevirus resistance, elevated protein, elevated beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) and elevated minerals (ironand zinc), Sayre said. "These traits have been working the best in the greenhouse, and the virusresistance is critical to success in the field," he said. "The thinking behind starting with these four traitsis driven by science and by the impact they can have.""It will not only be an improved staple crop eaten as a main source of nutrition, but were also lookingat the transformation of cassava from a staple crop to an income-generating crop," Sayre said. "Thatlifts people out of poverty, allows families to send kids to school and build infrastructure in theirvillages, so this is an important way to cross cultural barriers. There are many different cultures andlanguages in Africa, but higher crop yield, productivity, longer shelf life and making money are thingsthat everyone understands."The impetus for the genome sequence began in 2003 with the formation of The Global CassavaPartnership (GCP-21), co-chaired by Dr. Claude Fauquet, director of the International Laboratory forTropical Agriculture Biology (ILTAB) at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC) in St. Louis,and Dr. Joe Tohme of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia. This,in turn, led to a 2006 proposal by Fauquet, Tohme and 12 other international scientists to DOE JGIsCommunity Sequencing Program, which was selected for a pilot project.The full genome project gathered momentum in early 2009 when 454 Life Sciences and DOE JGI eachpledged the resources to use 454s Genome Sequencer FLX platform with long-read GS FLX Titaniumchemistry to rapidly generate the DNA sequence data needed for the project."This is a perfect example of how quickly things can happen when everyone is aligned behind animportant cause. Most of the data for the genome were generated within 8 weeks of getting DOE JGIand 454 Life Sciences on board," said the UAs Rounsley, who led the collaboration.More than 61 million sequencing reads were generated and assembled into a draft genome thatcontains an estimated 95 percent of cassava genes. It is one of the first large genome projects to
  12. 12. primarily use 454 Life Sciences long-read sequencing platform, which enabled both improved quality ofthe draft, and its rapid generation."We are pleased to contribute our sequencing technology to this important global initiative," explainedMichael Egholm, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Research and Development at 454 LifeSciences. "This project, along with other recently completed complex plant genome projects,demonstrates that 454 Sequencing systems are rapidly becoming the standard for de novo sequencingand assembly."The availability of the genome sequence enables the newly-funded project to study how cassavavarieties differ from each other. "The contributions of 454 Life Sciences and DOE JGI in making thecassava genome a reality have opened a new chapter in cassava research worldwide. Were excitedabout the opportunity for cassava breeders to access new tools for improving a staple African crop,"said Katherine Kahn, program officer with the Agricultural Development initiative at the Bill & MelindaGates Foundation.Researchers will use next-generation technologies to sample many varieties of cassava and develop alarge database of markers that can be used to identify genes involved in many important traits. Theteam will collaborate with researchers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in applying these geneticmarkers toward identifying resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease. All of the information and toolsthe project develops will be freely available worldwide.Traditional cassava improvement is slow and difficult. The availability of large numbers of markers willhelp make breeding schemes more efficient. For instance, traits that may only show up in matureplants can be identified in seedlings with a cheap DNA test. Since cassava is used for industrial starchproduction, and has potential as a biofuel source, there are commercial applications of these breedingtools. However, the most important applications will be those that improve the lives of those whodepend upon cassava for their daily calorie intake."With the first cassava genome in hand, we can cheaply and quickly sequence other varieties that willgive us thousands of little signposts – mile markers if you like – that will help us identify key genes forincreasing the plants resistance to the virus," Rounsley said."The information contained in the cassava genome will provide tremendous opportunities to improvethis important crop, bringing it into the mainstream of plant research thereby reducing the time andcost of delivering improved cultivars to farmers who need it most."Countries focused on Cassava:In Thailand, cassava production expanded rapidly in the 1970s and 1980s in response to an ever-increasing demand for cassava pellets used as an energy source for animal feed in Western Europe. Thecountrys cassava production area, initially located in southern Thailand, first moved to the easternseaboard provinces of Chon Buri and Rayong during the late 1970s, and in the 1980s expanded greatlyin the Northeast.During the late 1980s, Thailands cassava-production area covered 10 million rai. Almost all of this wasdestined for the lucrative export market for cassava pellets in Europe. However, changes in the EUsagricultural policies in 1993 lowered the support price of their own grain crops, and made Thailandscassava pellets no longer competitive as a cheap source of energy in animal-feed rations. Thus, theamount of cassava pellets Thailand exported to the EU began to drop precipitously year after year andis now less than 400,000 tons.Foreseeing the problem of overproduction, the Thai government tried to decrease the cassava-growingarea by encouraging farmers to plant other crops, however, none of these were as well adapted to theclimatic conditions in the Northeast as cassava. As a result, farmers continued to grow cassava, albeit
  13. 13. in a much reduced area of about 6.2 million rai. But while the area was reduced, cassava yields startedto increase substantially from about 2.24 tons per rai in 1995 to 3.55 tons per rai in 2006/2007. Theresult was that total cassava production decreased only marginally from a peak of 24 million tons in1989 to about 16 million tons in 1998/1999 and back up to 25 million tons in 2006/2007.So, what does Thailand do with 25 million tons of cassava roots? First, the Thai cassava industry quicklychanged from making mainly cassava pellets for export to making more and more cassava starch forboth the domestic and export markets. Currently the cassava starch and modified starch industryabsorbs over 50 per cent of all cassava roots produced in the country, as compared to 36 per cent in1991. Secondly, our Chinese neighbours to the north have also built more and more starch factories, tothe point that domestic production could not keep up with demand. Thus, in 2001, they startedimporting dry cassava chips from Thailand, first in very modest amounts, but increasing every year tofour million tons in 2006.Finally, in 2000, Thailand was one of the first countries in Asia to initiate a "gasohol" or E10programme, with the aim of replacing 10 per cent of normal gasoline with fuel-ethanol, which is arenewable energy source made from locally produced sugarcane (or molasses), maize or cassava.Presently 15 factories produce a total of 3.4 million liters of ethanol per day. Thailand currently hasthe second highest cassava yield after India and nearly double the average yield in the world. The rapidincrease in the countrys cassava yield was achieved through the hard work and excellent collaborationamong the Agriculture Department, the Agriculture Extension Department and Kasetsart University aswell as with the private processing and trading sector and the Thai Tapioca Development Institute.So what does the future hold for cassava in Asia? In many countries the increasing demand for cassavaroots can only be satisfied through marked increases in yield. This will require renewed efforts inbreeding, agronomy, biotechnology and improvements in processing technologies, coupled with adynamic and effective extension programme using a farmer participatory approach. Even thoughcassava is the third most important food crop in Southeast Asia after rice and maize, it has always beenconsidered as an "orphan crop", with little funding allocated for research of the crop. While there arethousands of researchers all over the world working on important crops like rice, maize, soybean, oilpalm and rubber, there are only a few dozen researchers working on cassava. Unless this situationimproves and the crop receives adequate funding and research attention, it will remain an "orphancrop", only grown by the poorest farmers and eaten by the poorest people, except that the increaseddemand for fuel-ethanol, if not met through rapid increases in production, will push up the price untilthe poor will no longer be able to afford it.In Venezuela, a team of researchers on the Yaretanol project report that they have developed ameans to convert cassava waste to ethanol, butanol, isobutanol and propanol. “Yare” is the local termfor the milky byproduct of cassava root food production, a substance high in cyanide content. Theteam said that 2 cubic centimeters of Yare can kill an animal weighing over 1,000 pounds. The Yareconversion process, according to the research team could produce 1 percent of Venezuela’s ethanol, or3 Mgy. The group also reported that they can use starch and ethanol as a base for biopolymers, andplastic extract as a base for bio-combustibles.China-based Hainan Yedao Group has reportedly invested $51.5m (£31.8m) in a new biofuel facilitythat is expected to produce 33 million gallons a year of bio-ethanol from cassava plants. The plansfollow recent moves from the Beijing government to ban the use of grain-based energy crops in bio-ethanol, amid concerns demand had led to a decline in food supplies.Cassava avoids the ban as it is a root vegetable that represents Chinas fifth-largest crop yield afterrice, sweet potato, sugar cane and maize. The Guangxi region, next to where the plant is located,accounts for 70 per cent of the countrys yield, averaging seven million tons a year.
  14. 14. Traditionally ethanol produced from cassava is used for food and pharmaceutical purposes, but it isincreasingly being touted as a more sustainable alternative to first-generation biofuels. Chinas BeihaiGofar Marine Biological Industry has also announced plans for a 100,000 ton-per-year cassava-basedethanol plant in the Guangxi region. The government has also signalled its support for the biofuelsector, with 10 of the countrys 22 provinces in China mandating the use of ethanol-blended gasoline incars. China will build its largest production base of non-grain bio-ethanol fuel in a southern province tomix with or replace the gasoline and diesel oil for vehicle use, reported Shanghai-based Jiefang Dailylast week. Global automakers have seen the promise of the new-generation ethanol fuel developmentin China.In April, China successfully replaced the gasoline and diesel oil with bio-ethanol fuel in Guangxi ZhuangAutonomous Region, and gas stations in 14 cities of Guangxi started to sell bio-ethanol. Some locallyproduced fuel ethanol is also mixed in a ratio of 10% with the ordinary gasoline to produce ethanolgasoline. The large ethanol refiner of Guangxis Beihai city now can produce 200,000 tons of ethanolannually out of about 1.5 million tons of cassava.Guangxi is the first Chinese province to use cassava instead of grain to produce ethanol. Guangxisoutput of cassava accounted for more than 60% of the countrys total, with an output of 7.8 million tonsa year. China has forbidden using grain for ethanol production last year to guarantee the supply offood. Now, about ten other Chinese provinces are using ethanol fuel. The countrys ethanol fuel saleswill reach 30 million tons in 2010 to make up half of the total gasoline supplies.Ethanol fuel will help China, the worlds second largest auto market, ease the shortage of energysupply, and cut the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions by about 30% and 10% respectively.China may have 60,000 new energy vehicles by 2012 and the government will focus on boosting theannual production of clean-energy vehicles.Agriculture remains the main activity in the developing world. The world’s farmers are fully capable ofincreasing the amount they produce, but, in order for this to happen, demand must increase. Povertyreduces global food demand and acts as a brake on food production. Most of the world’s poorest peoplelive in rural areas and work the land. Increased demand for agricultural products thus would meanmore farm income and less poverty, more productive agriculture, more food, more rural economicdevelopment, and reduced migration to cities.Conclusion : Many developing countries still have a significant quantity of land available that is welladapted to rain-fed crops – about as much as now is being farmed (over 1.7 billion acres). These landsdo not include areas inhabited by human beings, forests, or protected areas.If a country can produce and export biofuels, it will have a stronger economy and more resources toaddress the needs of the poor. Africa, with its significant sugar cane/Cassava production potential, isoften cited as a region that could profit from experience and technology, although obstacles torealizing it (infrastructure, institutional, etc.) should not be underestimated.