Cassava (Tapioca)

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz.) is one of the major tuber crop belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is commonly known as tapioca, manioc, yucca and mandioca.   This crop has the ability to grow under adverse conditions without any crop failure. This is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, can be successfully cultivated on marginal soils and gives reasonable yields where many other crops do not grow well and hence it has earned the reputation as a "famine reserve crop". Cassava is the main source of calories for 500 million people across the globe.

Cassava (Tapioca)

Cassava is contributing a major role in food security in Africa and no other continent depends on cassava to feed as many people as does Africa. Cassava plant gives the third highest yield of carbohydrates per cultivated area among crop plants, after for sugarcane and sugar beets. In tropics, cassava is the third most important source of calories, after rice and maize.
Cassava is originated in North-East Brazil. India occupies fifth place in cassava cultivation, the first four being Brazil, Zaire, Nigeria and Indonesia. Thailand and India are the major cassava growing countries in Asia. Thailand is the world's largest exporter of cassava products. In India, it is cultivated mainly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Kerala and Tamil Nadu account for about 80% of the total acreage of the crop in India. In Tamil Nadu during 2011, cassava is cultivated in an area of 1.96 lakh hectares with the production of 38.81 lakh tonnes. Cassava is mainly cultivated in Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Dharmapuri and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu.

Area CoveredProduction in mt

Tapoica Nursery

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Production constraints

Biotic factors

Abiotic factors

  • Mealy bug
  • Red spider mite
  • White fly
  • Cassava mosaic disease
  • Tuber rot
  • Leaf spot
  • Decline in soil organic carbon 
  • Imbalanced fertilizer use
  • Low nutrient status of soil and deficiencies of secondary and micro nutrients
  • Prevalence of drought condition
  • Price fluctuations

Varieties wealth

Variety

Duration
(Months)

Irrigated / rainfed

Yield
(t/ha)

Starch content (%)

Special features

TNAU/state department

CO 1

8.5 to 9

Irrigated

29.97

35

Very low incidence of mosaic virus

CO 2

8 to 8.5

Irrigated

35-37

34.5

Field tolerance to cassava mosaic virus disease

CO 3

8

Both irrigated and rainfed

42.58

35.6

Field tolerance to cassava mosaic virus

CO (TP) 4

8.5

Both irrigated and rainfed

50.6

40

Moderately susceptible to Indian Cassava Mosaic Virus

CO (Tp) 5

9 to 10

Irrigated

38

28

Resistance to cassava mosaic disease

Tapioca YTP 1

9 to 10

Both irrigated and rainfed

49.5

25 to 27

Very low incidence of mosaic virus

Mulluvadi 1

10

Irrigated

34.5

35

Field tolerance to mosaic virus disease

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CTCRI

H-97

10

Rainfed

25-30

27-31

Drought tolerant

H-165

8-9

Rainfed

33-38

23-25

Suited for hilly region

H-226

10

Rainfed

30-35

28-30

Drought tolerant

Sree Visakham

10

Irrigated

35-38

25-27

High carotene content

Sree Sahya

10-11

Rainfed

35-40

29-31

Highly drought resistant

Sree Prakash

7

Irrigated

30-35

29-31

Early maturing and tolerant to leaf spot

Sree Harsha

10

Rainfed

35-40

38-41

Drought tolerant

Sree Jaya

6-7

Irrigated

26-30

24-27

Early maturing and tolerant to scale insect

Sree Vijaya

6-7

Irrigated

25-28

27-30

Early maturing and tolerant to leaf spot

Sree Rekha

8-10

Irrigated

45-48

28-30

Excellent cooking quality

Sree Prabha

8-10

Irrigated

40-45

26-29

Excellent cooking quality

Sree Athulya

10

Both irrigated & rainfed

38.7

30.2

High extractable starch (30.2%)

Sree Apoorva

10

Both irrigated & rainfed

38.0

29.9

High extractable starch (30%)

Sree Padmanabha

9-10

Irrigated

38

25.8

CMD resistant

Technologies for higher production

Sett treatment : Sett treatment is essential to avoid the spreading of the pest and diseases adhering to the planting materials. Dip the setts in Carbendazim (1 g/lit of water) for 15 minutes before planting. For rainfed conditions, treat the setts with a mixture of potassium chloride @ 5 g/lit and micronutrients viz., ZnSO4 and FeSO4 each @ 0.5% for 20 minutes. Setts can also be dipped in Azospirillum and Phosphobactera each at 30 g/lit for 20 minutes.

Intercropping cropping : Cassava is basically grown as a mono-crop and has slow initial growth and usually covers the ground only three months after planting. Intercrops viz., amaranthus, coriander, small onion, fenugreek, vegetable cow pea, radish and black night shade are suited for cultivation in the interspaces of cassava. Intercropping provides more returns from the unit of cultivated area, provides early income from the seasonal crops, reduces the risk of dependence on a single crop and thus reduces total crop loss due to pests, weeds and even the failure of seasonal rainfall or monsoon.

Manuring :

Irrigated crop

:

Apply 45:90:120 kg NPK ha-1 + 100 kg ha-1 Gypsum as basal and 45:120 kg NK ha-1 on 90 days after planting and earthing up should be done for tuber bulking. The nitrogenous fertilizer has to be mixed with Neem cake and keep it for overnight before application.

Training

Rainfed crop

:

Apply 50:65:125 kg NPK ha-1 + 100 kg ha-1 Gypsum is applied as basal. Two kg of Azatobactor is appliedas soil application at 30 – 60 days after planting on receipt of showers (2.0 kg Azatobacter + 20 kg FYM + 20 kg soil per hectare). The nitrogenous fertilizer has to be mixed with Neem cake and keep it for overnight before application.

Micronutrient deficiency : Micronutrient deficiency leads to inter-veinal chlorosis and yellowing of plants. Acute deficiency leads to stunted growth, drying and withering of leaves. This can be controlled by foliar spraying of 1% FeSO4 + 0.5% ZnSO4 + 2 % urea at 60, 75 and 90 days after planting.

Weed control : Carry out 1st weeding 20 days after planting. Subsequent weeding should be done once in a month upto 5 months depending upon the weed intensity. Pre-emergence weedicide viz., Alachlor @ 1.5 litres ha-1 or Pendimethalin @ 1.3 litres ha-1 should be applied on 3 to 5 days after planting. Pre-emergence weedicide should be applied at the time of soil wetness.

Plant protection:

S.No.

Pest / Disease

Symptoms

Control measures

Pests

1.

Red spider mites

  • Leaves develop yellow dots along the veins during dry season
  • Leaves dry up and some plants die
  • The whole plant turns reddish brown, shrivels and lower leaves drop first

Soaking spray with Dicofol 18.5 EC @ 2.5 ml/litre of water during 3rd and 5th month.

2.

White fly

  • Chlorotic spots on the leaves which later coalesce forming irregular yellowing of leaf tissue
  • Severe infestation results in premature defoliation
  • Development of sooty mould

 

Integrated pest management practices:

  • Remove alternate weed hosts viz., Abutilon indicum.
  • Install yellow sticky trap at 12 Nos/ha.
  • Use nitrogen judiciously.
  • Avoid excessive irrigation.
  • Spray neem oil 3 % or fish oil rosin soap
    @ 25 g/litre of water  or Methyl demeton 25 EC @2 ml/litre of water). While using neem oil, teepol or sandovit should be added @1 ml/litre of water for better contact with foliage.
  • Avoid use of synthetic pyrethroids.
  • Avoid extending the crop growth beyond its duration.
3. Spiralling whitefly
  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Sooty mould in lower leaves
  • Dropping of affected leaves
  • Install sticky cum light trap and operate between 4 and 6 am to attract adults.
  • Spray Dichlorvos 76 WSC @ 1 ml/litre of water or Triazophos 40 EC @ 2 ml/litre of water. Add wetting agent.
  • Conserve parasitoids Encarsia haitiensis and
    E. guadeloupae.
4. Mealy bug
  • Sucking of sap at cassava shoot tips, on the lower surface of leaves and on stems
  • During feeding - injects a toxin into the cassava plant causing deformation of terminal shoots, which become stunted
  • Resulting in compression of terminal leaves into "bunchy tops"
  • Length of internodes is reduced and stems are distorted
Release of Parasitoids (Acerophagus papaya) @ 250 Nos./ha
Diseases
5. Cassava Mosaic Disease
  • Reduction in leaf size, misshapened twisted leaves
  • The affected plants stunted, tuber splitting and yield reduction
  • The virus spreads by infected setts and whitefly Bemisia tabaci
  • Selection of setts from healthy plants
  • Rouging infected plants in the field at early stage for the control of white fly vectors,
  • Adopt IPM practices mentioned above for the controlling of white fly.
6. Cercospora Leaf spot
  • Spots are produced on both the sides of leaves.
  • On upper surface, brown spots appear with dark border and on lower side of the leaf spot appears with grey centre
  • The infected leaves turn yellow and dry up.
  • Spray Mancozeb @ 2 g/litre of water twice at 15 days interval.

Uses cassava : Tapioca is used in the preparation of flour, rava, macroni, papad, instant noodles, Noodles, Vermicelli and etc., Tapioca starch is a thickener and stabilizer in fruit pies, soups, puddings, breads, sauces, soy and meat products. It can withstand long cooking times without breaking down. And products made with tapioca don’t lose their quality when frozen or reheated because tapioca retains its thickening capabilities throughout these processes. Tapioca becomes clear and gel-like when cooked and dissolves completely when used as a thickener.

Papad     Rava Kesari

Unmodified starch, modified starch and glucose are used in the food industry for one or more of the following purposes:

Directly as cooked starch food, custard and other forms;
Thickener using the paste properties of starch (soups, baby foods, sauces and gravies, etc.);
Filler contributing to the solid content of soups, pills and tablets and other pharmaceutical products, fee cream, etc.;
Binder, to consolidate the mass and prevent it from drying out during cooking (sausages and processed meats);
Stabilizer, owing to the high water-holding capacity of starch (e.g., in fee cream).

Sago : Sago is a processed edible starch available in the form of small globules or flakes this is carried out by roasting and placing gelatinised granules on shallow aluminium pans and stirred continuously and then the granules are dried. The dried mass is passed through polisher. Yield of sago is 25% of the weight of fresh tuber. Sago contains 12% moisture and 87 % carbohydrate. Sago is mainly used for various food preparations viz.,infant foods, puddings, papada, payasam and uppma. (Wet flour --> Roasting --> Polishing --> Sago granules)

Tapioca starch : Starches are basically carbohydrates, known as polysaccharides, i.e., multiple molecules of sugar.  For commercial use, they are derived from a variety of cereals like rice, wheat, sorghum, corn and tubers like potato, tapioca, sweet potato, etc.  Internationally popular forms of starch are mostly derived from tapioca. Tapioca starch is often preferred over maize starch because of its easy availability, high viscosity, blend taste and easy degradation. Tapioca flour is obtained by the following process: (Washing --> Peeling --> Crushing --> Flour)

Animal feed :
 Starch is highly economical and therefore extensively used as a filler in the manufacturing of compounded animal feeds.
 Semi-dried leaves of tapioca can be used as safe animal food.
 After harvesting, under sized tubers after grading can be chopped and can be preserved for six months. The cyanide content is reduced up to 80% and can be used for animal food including piggery

Industrial Applicaion

Starch estimation – point-scale method
Market value of tubers depends on starch content in tubers. Commercially starch is estimate through point-scale method (View power point for further details).

The starch grades are furnished as follows:
Grade I – 25 to 28 %
Grade II – 20 to 25 %
Grade III – 15 to 20 %

Marketing of tapioca
The most common practice by the farmers is dispose off the standing crop in lots to nearby factories and the tubers are immediately used for the manufacture of starch or sago.
SAGOSERVE
In 1981, the manufacturers of starch and sago in Tamil Nadu faced a lot of problems pertaining to credit, marketing, warehousing and modern technology. To get over these problems the starch and sago manufacturers formed “SAGOSERVE”, The Salem Starch and Sago Manufacturers Service Industrial Cooperative Society in 1981 under the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Act.1961. 
After the emergence of SAGOSERVE bargaining power of manufacturers has substantially increased in the field of marketing and the menace of middlemen between processor and primary wholesaler has been reduced. Due to sustained efforts of the society, sago/starch industry has now become the backbone of Salem district’s rural economy, providing employment to more than 5 lakh persons both in field as well as the factories. Main objectives of SAGOSERVE is

  • To remove middlemen from the trade and to ensure better prices for the tapioca finished products.
  • To provide warehouse and credit facilities to members.
  • To improve tapioca cultivation and sago and starch industries and thereby the economic condition of tapioca growers and sago and starch manufacturers.
  • To improve productivity in the tapioca based industries and disseminate market intelligence to its members.
  • To strengthen the co-operative movement in the sago sector.

Adoption of cost effective post harvest management technologies and suitable
by-product preparations paves the way for profitable tapioca industry. SAGOSERVE ensure better prices for the tapioca finished products.

Extension activities

  • Training to farmers and extension officials from state/central government
  • Advisory services on field problems
  • Mass multiplication and release of mealy bug parasitiod
  • Popularization of Tapioca YTP-1 through field demonstrations
  • Introduction of cassava in non-traditional areas of Tamil Nadu
  • Production and supply of planting materials

Future thrust 

  • Developing high yielding and starch content varieties tolerant to biotic and abiotic environments
  • To develop Rapid Multiplication Technique (RMT) for cassava through protray system
  • To develop suitable canopy management technology for high density planting
  • Technological intervention on the soil test based fertilizer application
  • Developing diagnostic tools to combat the nutritional and micro nutrient deficiencies
  • To develop holistic package employing cassava tonic, drip fertigation, mulching and integrated pest and disease management in cassava  
  • To develop technology to detract storage pest by using HCN in cassava
  • To develop starch metre to estimate the starch content in tubers based on the existing model available in Taiwan
  • Suitable compounds may be identified to reduce the cellulose content and increase the starch content in tubers
  • Developing suitable post harvest technology, by-product utilization and value addition in cassava
  • Introduction and popularization of cassava in non-traditional areas of Tamil Nadu

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