Cassava (Manihot species) is a crop of the humid tropics that belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. Cultivated forms belong to the species “Manihot esculenta Crantz” and “Manihot utilissima Pohl.” Africa produces about 50–80 million tonnes of cassava annually; this translates into an average of more than 300 calories per day for more than 200 million people. Cassava can grow on relatively marginal soils and erratic rainfall conditions in southeastern, Nigeria. It quickly adapts and integrates into the traditional farming system, is easy to cultivate and process and it is available all year round acting as a buffer against crop failure. These characteristics make this root crop a necessary component of the farming system in many areas of Africa south of the Sahara. Some of the principal recommended cultivated varieties in Nigeria include; TME 419, TMS 90257, TMS 91934, TMS 81/00110, TMS 82/00661, TMS 30001, TMS 30555, TMS 30572 and local cultivars—Nwugo, Nwaiwa, Ekpe and Okotorowa that are popular in southeastern Nigeria. Cassava is expected to play increased role in Africa’s struggle to attain food and nutrition security through increased production and utilization. This paper examines the ecophysiology, production principles, pest and disease management, uses and constraint hampering cassava production in southeast Nigeria.
Part of the book: Cassava