|Better Farming Series 16. Roots and Tubers (FAO, 1977, 58 p.)|
|How to grow cassava|
Depending on the variety, harvesting of cassava for food may begin from the seventh month after planting the cuttings for early varieties, or after the tenth month for late varieties.
Before this, the tubers are too small. In addition, they still contain too much prussic acid.
At harvesting time, that is, between the sixth and the twelfth month, each fully grown tuber of cassava may weigh 1 or 2 kilogrammes, depending on the variety.
In small family plantations you can harvest me tubers as you need them. Without cutting the stems, begin by taking the biggest tubers from each plant, leaving the smaller ones time to fatten up.
If you are selling to a factory, you must harvest all the cassava at the same time. The production of roots and starch is highest 18 to 20 months after planting.
Once lifted, cassava cannot be kept for long. The roots begin to spoil as soon as they are out of the ground.
That is why on a family plantation, you should not harvest more roots than you can eat while they are fresh, or sell immediately.
Cassava keeps longer when it is left in the ground, but the soil must not be too wet.
When you lift the cassava, take good care not to break it. Tubers damaged in lifting go bad even more quickly.