Many plants are grown chiefly for their roots or underground stems.
These plants are generally known as roots and tubers.
Roots and tubers are among the food crops, that is, they are grown mainly for human food.
The food crops grown in Africa include:
- Iegumes such as beans, cow peas, Bambarra groundnuts, groundnuts, soybeans;
- cereals such as sorghum, millet, maize, rice;
- roots and tubers.
Cereals are plants grown for their grain.
Three booklets have dealt with cereal crops:
- wet paddy or swamp rice,
- upland rice,
- other chief cereals of Africa, such as sorghum, millet, maize, fonio.
In this booklet we shall deal only with the main root and tuberous plants which are grown as food crops in Africa, that is, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, tania and taro (cocoyam).
The potato, which is also a tuber, will be dealt with in another booklet.