Post-harvest handling, safety and nutritional contribution of cassava in coastal Kenya

Abstract: 
Post- harvest losses is still a common challenge in most African countries. At the Kenyan coast, farmers are faced with the challenge of handling cassava produce due to the short shelf-life of the product. Due to inadequate knowledge by the farmers and the low capacity building with regards to cassava production, utilisation and commercialisation the rate of post-harvest losses of the crop are still high. Cassava a starch rich root crop has been grown as a food security crop but due to the limited nutritional composition of the crop, there is need to increase nutritional composition of the crop through bio-fortification and enrichment with crops which are high in protein and macro nutrients and micro nutrients. The levels of vitamins, protein and zinc thus need to be increased. The problem of cyanogenic glycosides equally needs monitoring with the development of processing methods to ensure the levels are reduced to tolerable levels for consumption. Cassava is utilized both at the farm level as food and in the industries as source of commercial starch. With continued biodiversification of the crop comes new product lines thus economic empowerment and thus potential of improving on the farmers’ livelihood. To spur the utilization of the crop farmers have small enterprise shops where crisps, fried roots and flours are sold. The farmers prefer a mixture of methods such as peeling, soaking water, sundrying, oven drying as methods of reducing the cyanide levels.
Language: 
Date of publication: 
2018
Country: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
Volume: 
17
Number: 
1
Pagination: 
265-272
Collection: 
RUFORUM Working document series
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Form: 
Web resource
ISSN: 
1607-9345
E_ISSN: 
Edition: 
Extent: 
8