Tropical Research Reference Platform

Kindle Edition: £7.91

By Charles Okoli

Cassava is an extensively farmed annual crop in the tropical, and subtropical regions. It is cultivated for its edible root tuber and leaves. The crop is favored by both small, and large-scale farmers as it requires low input of time, labor, and cost. An estimated 300 million tons of cassava leaves containing carotenoids and other valuable nutrients are produced globally every year. Less than one percent of the annual production is however consumed as food or used as animal feed, probably due to their content of high levels of toxic cyanogens. Cassava leaves are however used in traditional recipes in at least 60 percent of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and some Asian, Central, and South American countries. They are also being used in ethnomedicine to manage many health conditions such as ulcers, rheumatism, gout, diarrhea, fever, headache, night blindness, intestinal worms, and beriberi among others. The cassava leaves are also a good source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals like flavonoids, saponins, tannins, and triterpenoids. They can be used as silage, dried for feed supplementation, and processed into leaf protein concentrates for the improvement of high-fiber feedstuffs. Novel cassava leaves products are being developed for diverse industrial, food, and farm applications. This book presents a body of information on the current knowledge, and the evolving practices in the use of cassava leaves for food, health and livestock feeding. The book aggregates and presents the currently available information on the subject for both science, and non-science individuals in a simple, and understandable format. The goal is to simplify the otherwise technical research information for the benefit of the general public to help them utilize such information in their businesses and daily activities.

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