Sweet Potato vs. Yam

There is a definite difference between sweet potatoes and yams.
Sweet Potatoes are readily found in grocery stores.
Category: storage root
Appearance: smooth, with a thin skin
Shape: short with tapered ends
Texture: moist
Taste: sweet

Yams are not commonly found in North America, but are sometimes imported from the Caribbean.
Category: tuber root
Appearance: rough, scaly skin
Shape: long, cylindrical
Texture: dry
Taste: starchy tasting

1 cup of yams (cubed and cooked) contains the following :

  • Calories 158 cal
  • Vitamin C 16.5 mg
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.1 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.3 mg
  • Manganese 0.5 mg
  • Potassium 911 mg
  • Dietary Fibre 5.3 g

*These are approximate values

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Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that contain some valuable nutrients.

Health Benefits

Sweet potatoes are good sources of :

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • B vitamins, such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and
  • vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorous
  • Biotin
  • Dietary fibre

Sweet potatoes have been found to stabilize blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance. Other conditions that they defend against include :
  • Colon cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Inflammatory infections and diseases

1 cup of sweet potato (peeled and after baking) contains the nutrients in the amounts listed below

Calories 206 cal
Vitamin C 49 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.3 mg
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 1.3 mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.5 mg
Biotin 8.6 mcg
1.1 mg
Potassium 700 mg
Phosphorous 110 mg
Dietary fibre 6 g

*These are approximate values

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Yams and Sweet Potatoes

It is potential to have a tremendous hassle over the disagreement between tasty potatoes and yams. Botanically speaking, the two vegetables percentage nothing except for some flowery associations. The yam, a tuber, is a member of the lily household, while the tasty potato is a member of the dawn aura household.
Yams are normally sweeter, moister, plumper, denser, and a deeper orange tone than tasty potatoes -- though not ever. The two plants too go from distinct parts of the reality. The yam likely originated in Africa (although it may be the same plant that had been cultivated in Asia since 8000 B. C. ); the tasty potato is a New World plant discovered by Columbus (although it may get mysteriously traveled to Polynesia hundreds of years prior to Columbus's best voyage. Slaves in the American South called the tasty potato nyamis because of its similarity to a veggie of that figure that they knew from their motherland.
This African language brought the two vegetables jointly, likely for all eternity, despite botany, archeology, plant pathology, and the alike. And that's likely just as easily.

For all pragmatic purposes, it might be more interesting to believe of the yam and the tasty potato as twins separated at birth, growing upward with distinct quirks and twitches but retaining the vital tasty nature that makes them nearly replaceable from a culinary view. Furthermore, the yams mostly accessible in this nation are truly a kind of tasty potato. (True yams do provide one factor missing from tasty potatoes; they carry a compound from which the sexuality hormone estrogen was first manufactured.)

The value of the tasty potato as a main-course veggie as easily as a sweet has been proven in most cultures and at every American Thanksgiving. The European approval of the tasty potato following Columbus's yield to Spain was prompt and eager.
The Spanish potato, as it became known, was too shortly raised to the position of aphrodisiac, assuring it an entree to the highest levels of company. Henry VIII had tasty potatoes imported from Spain and made into many types of confections. The distinguished culinary author and chef Antonin Careme assured the veggie immortality when he included it in his classical The Art Of French Cooking in the Nineteenth Century. Perhaps little easily known is the veggie's popularity both in China, where it is sun-dried and used for noodle making, and in Japan, where it has been a staple for hundreds of years, particularly when typhoons have decimated the rice harvest.

But it is the American Thanksgiving that is the genuine examination of the tasty potato's versatility. It is transformed into pies, puddings, and muffins, as easily as candied vegetables, biscuits, and still ice ointment. The curiosity is that, like then many of the foods associated with Thanksgiving, from cranberries and chestnuts to the turkey itself, sweet potatoes are packed away, psychologically speaking, until the next Thanksgiving comes along. Not only can sweet potatoes be substituted in almost any recipe for white potatoes with unexpected and sprightly results, but they make tasty and unusual combinations when sauteed with garlic and tomatoes, layered in gratins with various types of cheese, or fried in tempura batter and served with dipping sauces.

In Louisiana Creole nation, any day might start with tasty potatoes in the kind of waffles, fritters, or pone. But when there is reality enough and moment, folk seem ahead to one of the oldest Creole specialties, patates douces. As earlier prepared, tasty potatoes are buried in ashes at the conclusion of a meal and left to cook slowly until the next. The nearly century-old Picayune Creole Cook Book issued this language of admonition in 1901: "[preparing] the tasty potato is an artwork, for the fragile smell of the potato is lost if it is not decently cooked."

Homage to the tasty potato/yam is a foundation in parts of Louisiana, where a yearly October festival, the Yambilee, culminates in a multicolored procession called the Grand Louisiana Parade.

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Boosting Cassava

According to the remark made by FAO, the spreading of cassava cuttings robust does not offer the expected results because it does simply 73% 0f the population living in a position of nutrient insecurity. Therefore, the organisation believes, we must concentrate on intensifying the output of cassava.

The donation of the FAO in the resurgence of the cultivation of cassava has resulted in the formation of almost 4,500 hectares of fields multiplication robust cuttings which have produced roughly 104 million linear meters for the welfare of peasants. However, this growth is facing many constraints, including: social practices ineffective, declining land birthrate and many diseases caused by the cassava mosaic.

Given the cultural and economical importance of cassava, FAO will remain its aid to the Congolese regime, in specific through the mobilization of partners able of promoting the cultivation of cassava, but too farming projects for Relief and Development 's pressing varieties from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (LITA) and the National Institute for the Study and Agricultural Research

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Tapioca Recipe served with vanilla ice cream

Tapioca makes a good pudding home, and it was a favorite in our family when I was growing upward. It’s an easy sweet to ready and good solace nutrient for the Winter. Since it has rather a nonaligned preference, nearly anything can be added for flavouring.

Tapioca comes from the cassava origin - a plant originating in Brazil but now popular across Africa, South America and Asia as its origin is nutritious and can be used for making many types of nutrient. In these parts it comes in pearl or flour kind (used as a gluten available option to wheat flour), and it’s the pearls I take.

Apparently, there is a matter called “bubble tea” that is all the fury in Taiwan and Asian communities around the reality - it’s tea or fruit drinks served with tapioca balls mixed in. I must seek that sometime, but I straggle… All things must go backwards to chocolate, and since I did a dark and light-colored beverage, why not a dark and light-colored sweet

Try this for a simple and delicious end to a meal:
100 gm tapioca Pearls
50 gm cocoa (pure, unsweetened)
50 gm sugar
700 ml milk

What to do:

  1. Mix the cocoa and sugar together.
  2. Add 100 ml of the milk in small parts, mixing until you have a smooth paste.
  3. Transfer into a small saucepan, add the rest of the milk and tapioca, and heat over a low flame.
  4. Stir continuously, keeping the pudding just below a simmer, until the pudding thickens and the pearls become clear (about 20 minutes).
  5. Top with vanilla ice cream and serve!

Serves 4

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Indonesia to shift 10 pct crude to biofuel

Indonesia plans to replace around 10 percentage of its fossil fuel transportation intake with biofuel products by 2010, an elderly regime official said on Monday. The resource-rich equatorial country has been pushing the consumption of biofuels made from respective resources such as palm oil, bread cane and cassava to reduce the consumption of expensive crude products. The change aims at easing load of sizable subsidy on crude products without raising the cost of subsidised fuel sold on internal marketplace. "We can't growth prices of subsidised fuel as it will damage consumers. But we may be capable to reduce intake and supplant it with biofuel," Evita Legowo, secretary at the National Biofuel Development Team said at the Reuters Global Agriculture and Biofuel Summit.

By 2010, biofuel products are expected to account for 3,8 million kilolitres of overall crude intake for transport at estimated 34. 75 million kilolitres. Indonesia is Asia Pacific's simply OPEC member but it is one of the smallest producers in terms of output and relies on fuel imports as it has failed to exploit original oilfields tight enough. The nation has to consume billions of dollars on oil subsidies and importing oil products. For that, the regime plans to increase bioethanol mix in petrol to 5 percentage by 2010 from 3 percentage, using cassava and cane molasses--thick syrup produced from bread cane during the bread descent process--as feedstock, she said. Production capability for bioethanol using both cassava and cane molasses is expected to hit 3,77 million kilolitres per year, from 135,000 kilolitres per year by the conclusion of December 2007, information from the biofuel squad showed.

Biodiesel mix will remain at 2,5 percent. maybe less because we are yet waiting for jatropha that we planted last year," Legowo said. Indonesian state-owned oil firm Pertamina which retails biodiesel at house, has reduce the biodiesel mix in diesel fuel to 2,5 percentage as rising palm oil prices and deficiency of incentives reduce margins. Malaysian vulgar palm oil futures strike a document on Monday with the benchmark March contract ending at 3,414 ringgit a tonne after hitting 3,420 ringgit, surpassing a higher of 3,280 ringgit reached on Friday. Palm oil prices, upward almost 12 percentage since the beginning of the year, were too supported by prospects of Malaysia introducing palm oil-blended diesel at house this year and Indonesia's plans to double biodiesel output. There are too plans for 12 particular biofuel zones by 2010 where investors could produce an integrated biofuel industry, if approved by the regime, said Legowo.

Indonesia is developing new uncooked materials to guarantee feedstock supplies for biodiesel and biofuel output. It plans to establish 5,25 million hectares of idle soil with palm oil, jatropha, bread cane and cassava by 2010.

By that moment, biofuel products will account for 2 percentage of the nation's overall vitality mixture of 5,29 million kilolitres.

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What is tapioca pudding anyway?

Tapioca is a starch produced by the cassava plant. This starch is formed into small balls called "pearls" that are used in cooking respective foods. Since tapioca is nearly flavorless, it can be combined with many distinct foods and is rather skilled as long as its unusual texture can be accommodated.

Types of Tapioca Tapioca can be purchased as flakes instead of pearls. In addition, the pearls go in respective sizes. Most tapioca pudding recipes appear to ask for the tiny pearls. Since tapioca is a dried nutrient, some recipes ask for it to be soaked before using; others take tapioca in the arid kind. Check your tapioca packet, since it may have recommendations for using that specific brand.

Tapioca Pudding:
Ultimate Comfort Food Tapioca pudding uses the small, starchy tapioca pearls as a thickener. Combined with the milk (and sometimes ointment and eggs) typically used in pudding, tapioca makes a delicious antique sweet. The pearls partially dissolve, but leave tiny bubbles giving tapioca pudding a unique texture, akin to having tiny bubbles surrounded by a creamy medium.

The starch, sugar and fat of tapioca pudding make it a comfort food for many people, although those following low-carb diets probably want to steer clear!

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Ethanol Fuel to Save Country $6.lbn By 2012

He secretary of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association [NCGA] Mr Isaac Sunday Ojonugwa, has said that Ethanol fuel will save Nigeria an importation of kerosene and petrol of over $6.1 billion by 2012, adding that the development of a cassava based ethanol Bio- Fuel Industry will be a significant bonus for any Mrican Nation.

While revealing this to newsmen in Abuja recently, he said a global ethanol production is estimated at 41 million tones valued at over $16 billion with a growth rate of 3 per cent per year but only about 10 percent of global ethanol productions are traded.

Ojonugwa, however, said that the available statistics showed that not enough ethanol are available to meet export demand and a current supply deficit estimated at 6 billion litres is expected to grow by 5 per cent annually. "Nigeria-made renewable cassava based fuel, ethanol will directly displace the amount of petrol and kerosene we need to import offering our country critically the needed independence and security from foreign sources of energy.

The secretary disclosed that a U.S. consultant, SJH and Company, in 2002 studied that an approximate cost of $60 million of constructing an ethanol plant expands the local economic base by $110 million each year and ethanol production generates an additional $19.6 million in house hold income annually. Onugwa stated that agric-refinery or the bio-refinery is a factory that breaks down the celluloses and lignin in biomass and converts them into chemicals and fuels fibers, adding that Biomass resoures contain the same basic chemical of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that constitute oil, in the form of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. He further said that agriculture farmers who invest $20,000 in local ethanoliplant received an average of 13.3 per cent per year on their investment over ten years, saying that the local price of cassava increases by an average of 5-10 per cent tonne, adding significantly to farm income in the general area surrounding the plant.

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Grow Cassava for Export

Farmers need to better on the character and amount of cassava they develop because regime intends to place upward processing factories that will make value to get the cassava exported, Agriculture Minister Anastese Murekezi said on Wednesday.
The supply for cassava is really tiny locally but the need both here (in Rwanda) and overseas is really higher because Rwandan cassava is really tasty, Murekezi told RNA on the sidelines of stake-holders meeting that is assessing operation of the farming sector and map away subsequent interventions.
We (regime) are planning to seem into the matter of factories that will treat and make some value onto the cassava into character flour but the farmers need to first better on their output levels. According to the Minister, output of maize, beans, milk and cassava has been promising simply that farmers have to be supported to better on the character of what they develop.

However, delegates to the forum were concerned that regime provided them with higher strain seeds for planting but they now have stocks with no markets. The farmers too tell bank loans are out of their grasp. We have a trouble in that no one can trade the corn produce before the authorities from the territory have go to affirm the quantities and establish prices - we have been waiting for them to go but get not - still now we have more maize willing for sale, said a delegate from the eastern state.
Another milk manufacturer said: We have much milk than what the pasteurizing machines can manage and up to now the processing mill in Nyagatare has delayed to give.

Government for its region says it has establish upward a loan warranty that would wrap upward to 401001121220f the debt incurred. The loans are mostly meant for cooperatives that normally have higher refund rates compared to individuals. Macro economical indicators presented to donors at their yearly session with regime display that farming output reduced in 2007. The donors called for extra attempt to concentrate more on the sector that employs much than 701224f the workforce. In the original five-year growth program - the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), regime targets double and in some cases dual output of distinct produce.

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The engine room of cassava business in Nigeria

One of the biggest obstacles to the growth of cassava business in the country is paucity of funds to strengthen the Cassava Empowerment Fund.
The fund is constrained by lack of direct sources and marginal take-off grant that is too meager to sustain meaningful development. The nation spent a huge sum of money in research to develop new varieties that improved our yield and that are resistant to the endemic cassava diseases. But no money has been made available for the development of the down stream aspects of the industry which indeed, should drive the entire industry.

We now hear of cassava glut because the down stream that should mop up the products are not ready due to lack of adequate funding.

Cassava empowerment fund

The fund was initiated by the Flour Millers Association who in a patriotic show of corporate social responsibility kick-started it with a donation of N500 million.

The fund was first managed by the Bank on Industry (BOI) and later by the Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB). The amount is segmented in such a way that N300 million is for cassava processors and N100 million for Cassava Growers.

The remaining was earmarked for other cassava activities. The amount for processors can only finance about 40 out of the required 225 processors needed to produce the minimum daily requirement of 560 metric tones required by the Flour Millers to meet the 5 percent cassava flour inclusion.

The Agricultural Bank is sourcing for more funds to sustain this noble venture that can ameliorate our unemployment situation.

This is the time for the Federal Government, the Central Bank and the Commercial Banks to wade into the Cassava sector by pumping more funds into the Cassava Empowerment Fund to enable more processors go into the business and produce more cassava flour for the local industry and for export.

About six million jobs will be created if five percent inclusion is seriously enforced and 12 million when increased to 10 percent. We should not miss this opportunity to strengthen our economy.

How to improve funding for the empowerment fund

The Federal Government and the Central Bank should prevail on the Banker's Committee of the Commercial Banks to invest about N10 billion from the Small and Medium Enterprises Equity Investment Scheme (SMEEIS) to the Cassava Empowerment Fund.

You may recall that SMEEIS was initiated in 2004 by the Banker's Committee to provide equity funding for SMEs to enable them overcome poor access to funds.

The scheme requires all banks to set aside 10 percent of their profit before tax for this equity investment. So far, the fund has accumulated over N37.4 billion and only about N18.9 billion has been invested. Instead of the funds lying idle, it is better to invest part of it in the revolving Cassava Empowerment Fund, which is the engine room of the Cassava business in the country.

Such an investment will go a long way in reducing our unemployment which stands at 48 percent and alleviating poverty which is the bane of our development efforts.

All commercial banks should also be encouraged by the Central Bank to open cassava windows or desks in their banks to support the cassava industry and the composite flour initiative because of its job creation opportunities.

Government should also direct positive action to stimulate the cassava empowerment fund by imposing 1 percent surcharge on the importation of wheat. This should be similar to the surcharge on rice which gave great impetus to rice development. Government should also pass a law on the national assembly making it mandatory on all flour mills to include 5-10 percent cassava flour in all wheat flour used in baking bread and confectionaries. This will make the enforceability of the policy more stringent and total.

We must take very seriously, any opportunity to create jobs because unemployment is the major cause of our national problems: Urban unrest, insecurity, youth restiveness and others are caused by it.

Over one million youths graduate from our tertiary institutions annually and we must find jobs for them. We are the world’s largest producer of the product which means that we have comparative advantage in it.

The advantage must be used to solve our economic and social problems; Brazil and Thailand are doing it. Why not us? We should start with the composite flour to create more SMEs and develop more jobs. We should use what we have to get what we want.

Bruno Orji is a consultant based in Lagos with expertise in the agro sector & exports. He is also an SMEclub Content Partner.

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Farmers Receive Cassava Cuttings

KIBAALE territory has distributed disease-resistant cassava cuttings to over 5,000 farmers. The output policeman, Peter Sentayi, said the cuttings, valuable sh30m, were supplied to all sub-counties. He added that the cassava was impervious to drought. Sentayi added that the plan was in cable with President Yoweri Museveni's directive to districts to avail improved farming materials to encourage nutrient protection in the nation.

In a December 6, 2006 letter, the President ordered all principal administrative officers to avail improved planting materials to farmers through the Local Government Development Programme and the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture. Sentayi said Kibaale territory council approved over sh70m for the purchase of both harvest and creature husbandry materials.

The items will be supplied to farmers before the conclusion of the 2007/08 financial year.

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Cassava Breeders

A meeting of Africa’s leading cassava breeders zeroed in on actions needed to stop the rapid spread of cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). The resurgent crop disease has already caused a low-grade famine in northern Mozambique , and led farmers in Zanzibar to largely abandon cultivation of the critical food crop. Breeders from Uganda , Kenya , Tanzania , Malawi and Mozambique all noted the rising threat of the disease to small-scale farmers in their areas.

Cassava breeders at the meeting in Zanzibar 3-5 October 2007 said that the disease has recently spiked, for reasons that are unclear. Yet, breeders have already developed a number of disease-resistant varieties, and others are in the pipeline. Breeders noted that the problem lies in getting these varieties to farmers and that many African governments have stringent variety release rules that seriously delay getting the new varieties into farmers’ fields.

“Joint action by cassava breeders, farmers and government agencies can contain this disease,” said cassava breeder Dr. Edward Kanju of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Tanzania . “Isolated action or inaction will worsen hunger. Unless cassava scientists and policy makers understand that there is this menace, farmers and their families will suffer as a result.”

The African Cassava Breeders Network meeting brought together nearly 50 people from eight countries: Kenya , Uganda , Tanzania , Mozambique , Nigeria , Ghana , Malawi and Rwanda . Present were crop breeders, seed producers, and representatives of agriculture-related businesses and non-governmental organizations. The meeting was jointly convened by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Ministry of Agriculture of Tanzania .

AGRA , whose board is chaired by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan, has recently awarded a total three grants, totalling US$553,692 to cassava breeders at national agricultural research organizations in Kenya , Malawi , and Tanzania . AGRA has also made a grant for $157,500 to support rapid distribution of four cassava varieties that are resistant to CBSD on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba .

If CBSD continues to spread unabated, the damage would be considerable, breeders said, and would compound the losses already being caused by a second disease, the African cassava mosaic virus. CBSD causes the normally edible cassava roots to become corky and inedible, and may also streak and destroy leaf tissue. Once introduced into a field, the virus can spread rapidly, and yield losses of up to 100 percent have been registered. However, Tanzania ’s cassava breeders have developed tolerant materials that could be critical to arresting the epidemic. The key will be getting this genetic material to other breeding programmes in the region for use in local breeding programmes.

Across Africa , cassava is a staple food for some 250 million Africans, and its tuberous root is the second most important crop in terms of calories consumed. It has served as a reserve against famine and is tolerant to water stress and poor soils, making it important to African farmers facing longer and more frequent droughts. Its leaves are used as a vegetable and provide a cheap but rich source of proteins, vitamins A, B and C, and other minerals. Cassava’s importance to Africa has even been recognized by the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa ’s Development (NEPAD), which has developed a Pan African Cassava Initiative (to do what?). Nonetheless, cassava remains susceptible to a number of crop diseases and pests, and most varieties grown by small-scale farmers are low yielding, limiting the crop’s potential to alleviate hunger and malnutrition.

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Study Cassava

Ohio State University will lead an interdisciplinary team of scientists in a multi-million dollar project to help improve one of the most important food crops in Africa, cassava.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation selected the BioCassava Plus project as a recipient of one of the foundation's "Grand Challenges in Global Health" program grants. Created two years ago, the goal of the $450 million program is to fund innovative solutions to global health problems.

Leading the $7.5 million, 11-institution cassava project is Richard Sayre, a professor of plant cellular and molecular biology at Ohio State . The grant runs for five years.

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is the primary food source for more than 250 million Africans ?about 40 percent of the continent's population, Sayre said. And the plant's starchy root is a substantial portion of the diet of nearly 600 million people worldwide.

Cassava is the fourth-most-important crop in the tropics, and it's relatively easy to grow in drought conditions. Fully grown cassava roots can stay in the ground for up to two years and needs relatively little water to survive. The roots are a key source of carbohydrates for subsistence farmers in Africa .

The researchers will work on developing new types of cassava plants that have increased levels of zinc, iron, protein and vitamins A and E, and that can also withstand post-harvest deterioration.

But there are downsides to cassava ?its roots are low in protein and also deficient in several micronutrients, such as iron, zinc and vitamin A. And once the roots are harvested, certain strains of cassava can produce potentially toxic levels of cyanogens ?substances that induce poisonous cyanide production.

"In Africa , improperly processed cassava is a major problem," Sayre said. "It's associated with a number of cyanide-related health disorders, particularly among people who are already malnourished."

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