Item Details

Title: Good Agricultural Practices for Cassava

Date Published: 2019
Author/s: NARO and CABI
Soil Fertility: Before planting cassava, locate a good site.
• Avoid stony or rocky areas
• Avoid planting in shaded areas
• Avoid swamps or places which are likely to flood during the rainy season
• Avoid newly cleared forest land since rotting tree roots may harbour dry rot disease that can affect cassava tubers
• Soil should be fertile and well drained
• Flat land or gently sloping hills are okay
Lad preparation: Preparation should be done at the end of a dry season to allow for planting at the first rains of a rainy season.
• Begin by slashing or removing tall grasses and shrubs.
• Ploughing before planting is recommended to loosen soil for healthy root establishment. Ploughing may be done by hand with a hoe, by ox-plough or with a tractor.
• The depth of ploughing should be 15-30 cm to prevent nutrientrich top soil from moving down too deep.
• Ridges running along hillsides may be formed to prepare hilly land or in areas where water is scarce.
Herbicides may be used in the process of land preparation.
• Stubborn weeds such as couch grass (lumbugu) may be destroyed with herbicides such as glyphosate.
• When applying herbicides, always wear protective clothes such as overalls, gloves, head protection and gum boots.
• Apply herbicides before ploughing.
• Ask extension workers for details on where to buy herbicides and how to apply them
Planting materials: Cassava is grown by planting stem cuttings from healthy plants.
Healthy plants must be identified to obtain clean stem cuttings.
• Plants should have stems (at least 2-3cm in diameter).
• Stem cuttings should be sourced from plants aged 10-18 months.
• Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) is a disease that can result in up to 100% crop losses. CBSD is spread by planting a stem
taken from an infected plant, so only use stem cuttings from a garden free of CBSD.
• Use varieties from species known to grow well and that are tolerant to disease, such as NAROCASS 1 or NAROCASS 2
Preparation of planting materials: Follow the correct steps to get the best cuttings for planting.
• Stem cuttings should only be cut from the mature part of a cassava plant, starting from 6 cm above the ground.
• Stem cuttings should measure 15-25 cm in length and have at least 5-7 nodes.
• Make sure that all cuts are clean and straight, with no signs of splintering or splitting.
• Handle the stems carefully when transporting to the field to avoid bruising or damage to the nodes
Other soil treatments:
When to plant: Horizontal planting
This method is suitable for planting on flat land.
• Holes are dug in the plot before planting cuttings
• Planting depth should be 6-10 cm in holes 20-30 cm wide.
• Hole spacing should be 1m x 1m; 1 meter between plants and 1 meter between rows. Long strings may help to plant in a line.
• Place 1 stem cutting in each hole and lightly cover with soil.
• Plant cassava at the beginning of the rains of the 1st or 2nd season for good crop establishment.
• To plant 1 acre, use 8 bags (each containing 500 stem cuttings) to prepare for 4,000 plants.

Vertical Planting
This method is suitable for planting on hilly land or in dry areas.
• Ridges are prepared to conserve moisture in dry areas and to prevent erosion on hilly land.
• Ridges should run along a hillside and be made 30cm tall and 45cm wide.
• Cuttings are inserted into the ridge vertically or at a 45° angle with the nodes facing up so that 2/3 of the stem is below ground.
• Plant spacing remains 1m x 1m.
• Plant cassava at the beginning of the rains of the 1st or 2nd season for good crop establishment.
• To plant 1 acre, use 8 bags (each containing 500 stem cuttings) to prepare for 4,000 plants

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