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Tropical roots and tubers

Tropical root and tuber crops play an important role in the dietary pattern of people living in the tropics. They are also consumed in other non-tropical countries, where their significance in the diet of the people cannot be overemphasised. This is due mainly to the fact that they are the major sources of energy for these people. The main root and tuber crops consumed in these places are yams (Dioscorea spp.), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), cassava (Manihot esculenta) and cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium). Yams are of Asian origin while sweet potato, cassava and cocoyam are of American origin.

Some agronomic characteristics, anti - nutritional factors as well as utilisation and processing of the major tropical root and tuber crops are elucidated below.

References and further reading :

  • www.fao.org/inpho
  • Promotion of Root Crop-Based Industries; An Incentive for Research and Development. Proceedings of the Fourth Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops- Africa Branch, Kinshasa, Zaire 5-8 December 1989.
  • Root Crops for Food Security in Africa. Proceedings of the Fifth Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops- Africa Branch, Kampala, Uganda- 22-28 November 1992.

 

 



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