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Cassava is a woody perennial, branched shrub that can grow up to 5 metres in height and one of the most consumed food in the world. It has large, spirally arranged, lobed leaves of very variable forms.  During growth, the shrubs produce several tuberous roots as reserves made of up to 35% starch which may reach up to 1 m in length and together may weigh up to 40 kg.

Cassava prefers a light, well-drained, deep soils that are rich in organic matter and requires rainfall between 1,000 to 1,500 mm/year and a temperature of between 23 and 25oC. It tolerates long dry seasons (6 to 7 months) as well as reduced precipitation.

Cassava may be inter cropped with other crops such as maize, plantain, vegetables or legumes and can also be cultivated alone. Much labour isn’t required for cultivation of cassava about 75 to 125 man-days per hectare, from the preparation of the land to harvesting. Sweet cassava tubers may be harvested 8 to 10 months after planting, whereas for the bitter varieties, the harvest starts from the 12th month.

By-Products of Cassava
By products of cassava is very valuable as some are consumed while some are used as raw material for a particular finished goods. The following includes by-products obtained from cassava


  1. KWEM 

Method of preparation

  • With high heat, cook and stir intermittently together, palm but pulp and mashed cassava leaves with peeled and cleaned cassava tuber.
  • After 20 minutes, check the cooking process and adjust the amount of water.
  • For a quarter of an hour, half cover the pot to allow the water to evaporate.
  • Vegetable soup is ready once the crushed leaves turn a yellowish colour and the liquid has reduced by half.
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This Is another meal made from cassava leaves, it is a native of Cameroun.



Method of preparation

  • Grind cassava leaves to produce a fine pulp
  • Boil water, add salt and the crushed leaves and stir continuously until leaves are cooked
  • Fry onions separately and add coconut milk or peanut butter.
  • Add the cooked cassava leaves and stir for few minutes.
  • Serve with rice or another main cereal based dish.

This is a meal made from cassava leaves, it is common in Tanzania.


Method of preparation

  • Peel cassava tubers, wash and cut into pieces.
  • Soak for 3 to 6 days, depending on the season (less time in the dry season).
  • Then the fibres are removed and the chips are dried in the sun before they are stored in clean bags.

This is made from fresh cassava tubers.



Method of preparation
This can be made in two ways, either fermented or unfermented.

Fermented method

  • The cassava tubers are peeled and washed after which they are soaked for 3 days to soften them.
  • Once fermented, clean them by removing the central section then take out the cassava.
  • The resulting paste is pressed and crushed to make the fermented cassava paste used in the production of cassava sticks.

Unfermented method

  • The cassava roots are peeled and Washed in clean water.
  • Grate- this can be done manually using a grater or mechanically using a mill.

This is used in the production of several products such as: pastries, couscous, semolina, starch, etc.

    Method of preparation
  • Mix the cassava paste in a vat of water, at a ratio of 5 litres of water to 1 kg of paste.
  • Sift the mixture and collect the starch milk in a basin. Allow the starch to settle for 1 hour.
  • Collect the paste that has been deposited at the bottom and leave it to dry in the sun. This extracts the starch.
  • Grind the starch and sift the powder, then package it into bags.
    Cassava starch is produced from unfermented cassava paste
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Method of preparation

From dried chips

  • Grind or crush the chips to produce the flour.
  • Sift the flour and put it in suitable packaging (i.e. cup, bag, packet).

From cassava paste

  • The cloth must be put on a raised support and not directly on the ground.
  • Press the paste obtained after grating the peeled and carefully cleaned roots.
  • Dry in the sun on a clean cloth, positioned on a gentle incline.
  • Dry the paste until it is floury. Then grind the dried paste in a mortar or in a mill to produce the flour.
  • Sift the flour and transfer it to suitable packaging (i.e. cup, bag, packet).

Cassava flour production is made either from dried chips or from unfermented cassava paste. In both cases, the product is dried, ground finely and sifted before being packaged.


Method of preparation

  • Peel and crush cassava tubers and allow to ferment (fermentation is carried out by an enzyme called magnan).
  • The semolina is obtained after spinning the paste.
  • It is dried, sifted, sized and steamed to give a sticky and slightly tangy product.


    As we have other farm produce bread, like wheat, so also exists cassava bread. This is baked using cassava flour, it has been researched to be more nutritious than other type of breads.


  1. GARRI

Method of preparation

  • Prepare the cassava paste, pack into bags and leave it to ferment for 2 to 3 days.
  • Press the paste using blocks of stone or a press, until the water stops dripping.
  • Drain the dry paste using a sieve while removing some of the fibres.
  • Grill or roast the semolina in a pan or on a hot plate.
  • After roasting, sieve the gari to remove the large pieces that remain and sieve using a bamboo sieve with different mesh sizes, which will give different qualities of gari.
  • Keep them in a clean container (bag or packet) for trading.



Method of preparation

  • Pour the flour onto the work surface.
  • Make a well in the middle, add the eggs and mix using a fork.
  • Once the flour is completely mixed with the eggs, work the pasta by hand for 15 minutes until it is compact, smooth and elastic.
  • Form it into a ball and leave it to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

If dry, add water or if sticky add f lour.

  • Then, divide the ball into three equal sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece of pasta through the rollers at the maximum thickness setting, then a second time on the tightest setting.
  • Roll it through five or six times until a fine band of pasta is produced. If necessary, pour flour on the pasta to stop it sticking. Fold it in half before rolling it through the machine again.
  • Use the pasta dryer or rest the pasta on a cloth for at least 10 minutes, then put it into bags.




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