Cassava typically grows as a shrub and a native of Latin America. It was introduced to Africa by Portuguese traders in the late 16th century. It is grown on 80 million hectares in 34 African countries. Cassava requires few production skills or inputs, is drought tolerant and produces reasonable yields under adverse conditions. It has ability to remain in the soil as a famine reserve. Other factors that make cassava popular with small-scale farmers its requirement for little labour in its production and its yields fluctuate less than those of cereals. It’s a guaranteed crop.


Varieties Western Kenya varieties (Migyera, SS4, Mh95/0183, Serere, 12200 TMs, 30337, TMs 60142, GK1, GK9)

Kibanda meno – very sweet

Katsunga – leaves taste like wild lettuce when cooked

Kaleso (46106/27) – high yielding, for human consumption

Guso – Better yielder than Kaleso. Also for human consumption

5543/156 – It is a high yielding variety for livestock. It is bitter.

Seed Rate 10,000 – 15,000 Cutting per ha
Fertilizer Rate Not economical to use fertilizers manure be used at a rate of 20 tons ha.
Planting Spacing 1m x 1m (grown alone)
Husbandry Cassava is propagated through cuttings. The most suitable cuttings are 20-30 cm long and 20-25 mm in diameter (with 5-8 nodes), preferably from the middle browned-skinned portion of the stems of plants 8-14 months old. Planting on mounds and ridges is recommended. Weeding is necessary every 3-4 weeks until 2-3 months after planting.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
  Cassava Mosaic virus Curled leaves yellow stripes on leaves Plant resistant varieties rouging of infected plants
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 6-15 Months depending on variety
Climatic Conditions Cassava can be grown up to 1500 m altitude. The optimum temperature range is 20-30° with 500-6000 mm of rainfall per year. Best growth and yield are obtained on fertile sandy loams. The optimum pH is between 5.5 and 7.5.
Harvesting Harvesting is done either piece-meal for young plants or by uprooting whole plants for old plants.
Post Harvest and Storage Cassava does not store well when fresh and therefore has to be peeled, chopped and dried in the sun. It can then be stored in the form of chips or flour under dry conditions.
Growing Regions Coast region, Eastern Kenya and ukambani, Western Kenya
Expected yields Up to 10-25 tons/Ha depending on variety


Processing Cassava is grated and sun dried. Its then processed into chips or flour. It can also be fermented.


Place Cassava is marketed locally in markets and household to household. There are also intermediaries that buy and take it to urban areas and other areas where its not grown but needed.
Price Kshs 1000 – 2500 per 100kg bag


Products / By Products Cassava Crisps and chips, Cassava Flour
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy 160 / 8%; Carbohydrates 38.1 / 13%; Fat 0.3 / 0%; Protein 1.4 / 3%; Phosphorus 27.0 / 3%; Iron 0.3 / 1%; Pottasium  271 / 8%; Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.1 / 6%; Riboflavin 0.0 / 3%;


Cassava varieties contain cyanogenic glucosides, and inadequate processing can lead to high toxicity


Income Per Hectare: Kshs 100,000 (10,000kgs * 10/-).

Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 15,000 (15% of Income).

NET    Kshs. 85,000 (80% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income) = 15 bags (1.5 tons) per hectare.

Income Frequency: Once per year.

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