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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters on processing cassava:

According to Richard Mkandawire, Agriculture Advisor for New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), cassava is making its way into the diets of more and more Africans. He says that, as the continent is facing food shortages, many governments are turning towards foods such as cassava, which is more nutritious, less expensive and easier to produce than maize.

A cassava tuber resembles a sweet potato and is rich in carbohydrates. Cassava leaves are also nutritious, and provide protein.

The type of post-harvest processing done by the women of Groupedi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is just one of the ways to process cassava. Cassava can also be made into confections, sweeteners, glue, plywood, textiles, and paper.

The following Farm Radio International scripts talk about growing, storing, and processing cassava:
“Woman farmer invents a cassava grinder” (Package 49, Script 9, June 1998)
“Plant high quality cassava cuttings” (Package 37, Script 1, July 1995)
“Farmers experiment and discover: You can store cassava” (Package 58, Script 9, January 2001)

The following links will help you find even more information about cassava:
-A website about a cassava project established by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria: http://www.cassavabiz.org/index.asp
-An info sheet on cassava produced by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization:
http://www.fao.org/nouvelle/Fotofile/PH0007-f.htm
-A site about dried cassava and its byproducts, prepared by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT): http://www.ciat.cgiar.org/agroempresas/sistema_yuca/english/dried_cassava.htm#
-An article entitled « La filière industrielle du manioc dans les pays ACP : un mythe ou une option raisonnable? » (available in French only), on the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) website: http://knowledge.cta.int/fr/content/view/full/2964
-A BBC article on a new trend in Ghana – the use of instant foufou: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5010070.stm

Finally, here is a poem about cassava written by the Nigerian poet and writer Flora Nwapa during the Biafran war:

We thank the almighty God
For giving us cassava
We hail thee cassava
The great cassava
You grow in poor soils
You grow in rich soils
You grow in gardens
You grow in farms

You are easy to grow
Children can plant you
Women can plant you
Everybody can plant you

We must sing for you
Great cassava, we must sing
We must not forget
Thee, the great one

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