Yams: Botany, Production and Uses



Dioscorea species, commonly known as yams, are tuberous plants that constitute a major staple food in many parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific. Yams are cultivated in about 50 mainly tropical countries, and the world annual production of edible tubers is around 73 million tonnes. This book evaluates the current state of knowledge about yams, and how this knowledge affects practices in production, cultivation and postharvest technology. Dioscorea is a diverse genus in terms of its geographical origin, domestication, morphology, chemistry and breeding. Therefore, besides concentrating on the dozen or so species that are used as major food crops, the book examines species that have limited commercial or domestic value at present, but have the potential in future to contribute to the production and utilization of this crop. This book: Covers botany, taxonomy, composition, uses, cultivation, handling, storage, diseases, pests and production Describes the yam industry in the main producer countries, and around 100 of the most commonly grown species Reviews many Dioscorea species that may be developed in the future It is an essential resource for researchers in horticulture, yam growers, breeders and postharvest technologists.