6. Current practices in the production of cassava planting material.
In: Proc. of a Reg. Workshop, Cali, Colombia, 1983, pp. 41-45
This paper reviews some of the current practices in stake production and points out some elements necessary for improvement.
Selection of stakes:
A conscientious selection of mother plants according to nutritional and health status, followed by a careful selection of stakes from these plants, is hardly ever done in traditional production systems.
In traditional systems, hardly any selection is made with regard to the maturity of the stake. This means that along with stakes of adequate maturity (recognized by a relation of total to-pith diameter of between 2:1 and 3:1), a large number of either too young, i.e., succulent stakes, or too old, i.e., very lignified stakes, are selected. This leads to plant loss and a patchy, uneven sprouting of stakes.
Cutting and preparation:
- Cutting methods:
A great variety of cutting methods are presently practiced worldwide. In one of the common methods, the long stem is placed on a base.
- Stake length:
As with cutting methods, farmers use a great variety of stake lengths in commercial plantings. Stakes as short as 10 cm with only two to four buds may be used by some, whereas others cut and plant stakes of 40 cm or more.
- Mukibat system:
The traditional and rudimentary methods of selecting and preparing cassava planting material stand in contrast to a very careful and elaborate system known as the Mukibat system. A well-selected Manihot esculenta stake is used as a stock onto which a Manihot glaziovii scion is grafted.
Handling before planting:
The majority of cassava planting material is transported in the form of long stems to facilitate handling and reduce moisture loss.
- Chemical treatment:
Chemical treatment of stakes for pest control and protection against soil-and air-borne fungi after planting is not a common practice among cassava producers. Many farmers simply do not know about this way of stake protection.
Concluding cassava planting material is obtained in a very simple manner from low-value raw material and probably for this reason no refined stake production technology has developed among farmers. It is suggested that in order to improve stake production technology, the primary considerations are selection of stakes for healthiness and adequate maturity, non-damaging cutting practices and the use of appropriate stake lengths.
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Review, ideotype breeding, Australia, alternative yield improvement
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