G14 Preserving other staple foods

Food Security

Grains are a food source that can be preserved over many months. However there are other important foods that can be preserved for several months with care. These include yams, potatoes and cassava.

  • These root crops cannot be dried out and need good ventilation during storage. To prevent rotting, great care should be taken during harvesting and transport to prevent causing wounds. Any damaged roots should be used immediately.
  • Tubers can be ‘cured’ to help them store better. The newly harvested tubers should be placed out in the sun and covered with a thick layer of leaves. The high temperature and moisture cause a protective layer to form on the outside. After a few days, they should be moved to a cool store. 

Discussion

  • Discuss present methods of storing different kinds of tubers. What useful ideas do participants have to share?
  • Have people travelled to other areas and learned useful new techniques? What are these?
  • If possible, put the new ideas for tuber storage into practice. Experiment to find the benefits of curing by leaving some roots to dry without ‘curing’. What are the lessons to be learned from the results?