Cassava is propagated vegetatively, using stem cuttings.
- Land preparation
The cassava seedbed requires deep cultivation to a depth of 25cm. Ridges or mounds are used in other areas which encourages tuber development.
- Planting materials
The stem cuttings should be from a mature plant, especially the middle part. They should be 30–45 cm long and 21/2–4mm thick with buds above the leaf scar.
Planting method and spacing
Cuttings may be buried in a horizontal position 71/2–10cm deep or buried halfway into the soil. In pure stands (without intercropping), a spacing of 1.5mx0.9m is recommended.
When intercropped, interplant with a cover crop such as beans or groundnuts at a spacing of 50cmx20cm. This combination gives maximum yields of both cassava and beans or groundnuts.
Weeding and harvesting
Keep the crop weeded in the first three months. Intercropping also helps to suppress weeds. Cassava takes eight to 36 months to mature depending on the variety. Yields also vary depending on variety and soil type. Average yields are 10 – 30 tonnes/ha.
How to grow cassava
Cassava can be grown on a wide range of soil, but it grows best on deep, free draining soils with reasonable fertility levels.
Shallow soils which may restrict tuber expansion should be avoided. Cassava is highly drought-resistant and grown in many parts where rainfall is low and unreliable.
Cassava grows at all altitudes, but it grows best on low to medium altitudes. It is low yielding at altitudes above 1500m.