This study evaluates the relationship between the fluctuations of starch content in cassava and the seasonal behavior of rainfall. A statistical model was developed relating precipitation variables with the starch content of cassava deliveries to the processing factory “Almidones de Sucre” in the Caribbean coast of Colombia. This model shows that there is a relationship between the decrease of cassava starch content and high rainfall during the last month before harvest. Similarly, the onset of precipitation after a dry period during the last 3 months before harvest creates lower starch contents. In addition to human and animal consumption, cassava has great potential for industrial use through starch extraction. Cassava starch is used in the food-processing, paper, glue, textiles, and pharmaceutical industries. (Alarcón and Dufour 2012). A decrease in cassava starch content creates less starch yield with more residues and water consumption during processing (Maieves, et al. 2011). For the case study with the “Almidones de Sucre” factory, this decrease in starch content incurs a lower payment to the farmers as a function of fresh root weight.
Moreno, P.; Gourdji, S. Cassava starch content and its relationship with rainfall. CCAFS Info Note. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Copenhagen, Denmark (2015) 6 pp.