Cassava performance under Kenana Sugar Company conditions

Thabit M. Ahmed

Abstract


The Research and Development Section of Kenana Sugar Company (KSC) has chosen cassava as a suitable alternative crop for future expansions in the bio-ethanol production. Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a native of north-eastern Brazil  that was disseminated by the Portuguese during the 16th and 17th centuries to tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. It  has a wide range of industrial and non-industrial uses; where fresh cassava is consumed as a popular alternative to potatoes or yams and is used as food thickener, filler, and binder as well. Cassava flour is used for making bread. On the other hand, industrial uses of cassava include paper, textile, adhesives, chemical and pharmaceutical industries (Henry et al., 1998). Also  cassava starch is used as a raw material for production of liquid glucose and dextrose as well as fructose syrup and maltose (Balagopalan et al., 1998; Moorthy and Balagopalan,1996). However, cassava is the raw material for large-scale starch extraction in many countries like Indian Thailand, Indonesia  and China (Henry et al., 1998).Besides, cassava starch is used as a raw material for alcohol and ethanol production in many countries e.g. Thailand, China, Brazil and Mexico. However, cassava is considered as one of the world's most cost-efficient crop for bio-fuel production. That is, under optimal condition ethanol yield  from cassava is the highest of all the energy crops (6,000kg/ha) Cassava responds well to improvements in agronomic practices and performs better than other crops under sub-optimal environmental condition   (Indira et al., 1997). Therefore, this work was designed with the objective to evaluate cassava performance under Kenana Sugar company condition. Cassava plants were obtained from neighboring

farms south west Kenana, February 2012. Stem cutting, 20 cm long were directly planted in rows (1m*1.5m). Irrigation was applied at an interval of 7-10 days. Manual weeding was practiced when necessary. Yield data were collected at four ages (i.e.9,10,11 and 12 months). Roots were detached from their mother plants; fresh- weighed, air dried, pulverized and underwent chemical analysis as described by Pearson (1970).


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