Cassava has emerged as a Survivor Crop (Heriberto LOPEZ)

A MESSAGE OF Heriberto Lopez

I’m doing Cassava and Sugar Cane research in Orlando, Florida. I’m developing new (radical) Cassava and Sugar Cane planting systems in order to confront Global Warming. Cassava and Sugar Cane are going to be harvested next summer.

Growing Cassava in Spain and in Drought Zones of USA.

Cassava Starch Storage: Low temperatures reduce energy use and increase Starch Accumulation.

Low temperatures make the plants dropping their leaves and therefore there is no more photosynthesis. Anyway, photosynthesis is very low because of the low temperatures and starch accumulation is reduced during winter time.

Farmers should cut the aerial parts of the plants in the field so that frost/snow, cannot damage the plants. This will also facilitate weed control.

Next spring, the plants will sprout very vigorously because they have lots of energy accumulated in their roots. Farmers can harvest the plants after 18-24 months. This means duplicating the time that plants are growing in the field, but also duplicating yields without much more additional expenses in the second year.

Cassava is drought-tolerant.  It can generate acceptable yields, even on depleted and marginal soils. It can remain in the soil unattended and normally be harvested later without major “Qualitative Deterioration”.

As for an Alternative Cassava Production Strategy in Australia Desert Lands, I am certain that this exists and it would be most interesting to have a look at all alternatives from a fresh standpoint. I like to encourage the “Australia: Cass Tech Food and Energy Project” and any research work in this direction. 

I like to give any possible support.

1.- Climate Change: Cassava key to food security.
http://www.irinnews.org/InDepthMain.aspx?indepthid=73&reportid=95694
2.- Cassava and Starch Technology Research Unit.
http://www.biotec.or.th/EN/images/stories/Document/Cassava.pdf
3.- IDB Bio Research Development- About Cassava.
http://www.idbes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=160
4.- The Bio Cassava Plus Program: Biofortification of Cassava for Sub-Saharan Africa.
http://www.aspb.org/PressReleases/sayre.cfm  rsayre@newmexicoconsortium.com
5.- Cass Tech an integrated Food & Technology Project.
http://www.casstech.com.au/
6.- Produccion de Yuca y Almidon en America.
http://www.rediex.gov.py/beta/userfiles/file/5-Bernardo_Ospina_Produccion_America.pdf

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About Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.
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