Godfrey Okoye University
Department of chemical science
How do scientists think…?
Topic: the giant cassava; history and its related basic information.
Date of harvest: July, 2014.
Place of Harvest: Obinugwu,Orlu L.G.A Imo State
Around the middle of June 2015, a giant cassava was discovered at Obinugwu, Orlu L.G.A of the Imo state. People gathered to see the miracle cassava. It was not pre-planned to specifically plant it but it was planted among other few cassava cuttings around an enclosed new compound under construction.
It was noticed to be outstanding and to have the biggest or the largest stem , roots or tubers, only to be distantly compared with another cassava which was 6ft away from it, and which is fairly big about 33% its size and tuber weight.
Uprooting it was very fascinating. At first, the size of the partially part exposed root looked like the root of an oak or iroko tree but further examination showed it to be the root of a giant cassava with three (3) sizable roots. More curiosity led to it being totally uprooted and weighed by the harvester.
The sizes of the triple tubers were unusually and very large, comparatively. People travelled from places including the next villages to witness the cassava. Also, at the Godfrey Okoye University, Thinkers Corner Campus, Enugu where the planter, owner and founder of the cassava Dr. M.E. Unaegbu who is the Head of the Chemical Science Department in the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, some prominent Professors, staff members and students converged to see the cassava. Professor Mark Chijioke, professor E.N. Adinna, Dr. Mrs. Miriam Unachukwu, Mr. Engwa Goodwill, Mrs. Ngozi Onaga (Chemical Sciences Department Secretary), to mention but a few, were people who first witnessed the Giant cassava.
Some of the questions that were raised were:
1. What made it so big?
2. What kind of cassava is it?
3. Where did it come from?
4. Why is it so big?
5. Can its stick (stem) produce similar cassava yield upon cultivation?
6. Who planted it?
7. When was it planted?
8. What would each of its parts (Stem, Leaves and tubers) look like?
9. Are its nutrient contents similar to other cassava varieties?
The above questions beg for some answers for the satisfaction of curiosity of the witnesses, researchers and scientists. Others are likely to pick up interest in answering these burning and interesting questions.
Dr. Marcellus E. Unaegbu. Ph.D.
Head of Department, Chemical Sciences