TFS 17-'Mukibat' Grafting System in Cassava Production

Technology fact sheet

31 Mar 2015

Key Facts

  • Higher yielding cassava cropping method
  • Grafted cassava can be grown in shady areas where cassava usually fails
  • Increased labour requirements

What is 'Mukibat' grafting system in cassava production?

  • 'Mukibat' is a grafting system for cassava seedling production. It uses rubber cassava (Manihot glaziovii), a perennial tree cassava as a scion and a superior or local cassava variety (M. esculenta) as the rootstock. The technology has a potential to yield 80-100 tonnes per hectare. Returns can be increased despite higher production costs.



  • The technology was developed in 1952 by a farmer named Mukibat in Kediri District, East Java, Indonesia (IDRC, 1978) to increase productivity.
  • The development of the technology and its diffusion was very slow. Experimentation was mainly by farmers with little extension and research support.
  • Recent studies show that some farmers still plant Mukibat cassava because of the growing cassava industry in Indonesia.


Figure 1. Researcher from ILETRI and farmer harvesting Mukibat cassava

Photo: Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesia


Where it works

  • Mukibat cassava grows well in medium-shaded environments where normal cassava would not produce tubers.
  • Climatic requirements:

- Latitude: 10-700 m above sea level

- Rain: 1,500–2,500 mm/year

- Minimum temperature: 10°C

- Humidity: 60-65 per cent

- Sunshine: 10 hours/day

  • Most soils can be used for production, but should be crumbly with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.
  • Mukibat cassava cultivation is successful in several districts of Indonesia.
  • Successful adopters are farmers with sufficient capital to continue planting cassava and living close to markets.


Technological aspects

  • Technology includes:

- Scion – tree cassava, Ceara rubber tree (Manihot glaziovii)

- Rootstock – superior or local cassava variety of M. esculenta

- Bamboo stick to strengthen the grafting

- Plastic to wrap the connection

- Seedlings shelter

  • Planting material should be prepared during the dry season and be ready for planting when the rainy season starts.
  • A scion of tree cassava of about 10-30 cm length is grafted on a 20-70 cm long piece of stem of ordinary cassava (M. esculenta). When the rootstocks are long (>40 cm), they can be directly replanted for a second or third cropping season after harvest (de Foresta et al., 1994). The diameter of both the scion and rootstock should be exactly the same at about 2-4 cm. Cut the scion and stock, slantwise.
  • Place a thin piece of bamboo in the pith of both the scion and the stock to facilitate the connection, and connect both stem pieces. Then wrap a plastic or banana leaf fibre around the joined stems to stabilize them.
  • Keep the cuttings in the shade, watering them daily. After about eight days, sprouts start to grow. Remove the sprouts from the stock but let sprouts grow on the scion.

  • Plant grafted cuttings in the field when sprouts from the scion are about 2 cm long.

  • Prepare a 0.5 m-deep hole (1 x 1 m) and fill this with a mixture of soil and organic matter comprising 5-25 kg of banana leaves, kitchen waste or the like. Place the cutting vertically – one per hole – and fill the hole with soil, making a hill around the cutting.

  • Take care of the plants. Plants can be supported with bamboo.

  • Plants are usually spaced 1.25 x 1.50 m but spacing can vary, especially with intercropping.

  • The cropping period can vary from 8 to 18 months; most farmers harvest about 11-12 months after planting, once a year. Older roots may become too fibrous and woody for human consumption.

  • Grafted plants can be used again for a second and third year. The technology is expected to last for 36 months with 3 harvests.

  • The second and third planting will reduce the cost of seedlings as these can be obtained from harvests 1 and 2 (Randan seed).


Economic aspects

  • Investment per hectare is approximately Rp 12,000,000 ($1,232). Conventional cassava cultivation requires almost the same investment ($1,100-$1,200)2, but yields less.
  • In a recent experiment in Indonesia, Mukibat yielded 90-100 t/ha, compared to 54-62 t/ha for ordinary cassava (Radjit and Prasetiaswati, 2011).
  • Average yield in Mulia Bakti (Indonesia) was reported to be 30 kg of edible tuber per grafted cutting as compared to 5-10 kg for ungrafted cassava (de Foresta et al., 1994). De Foresta et al. (1994) estimate a yield of 60-150 t/ha from Mukibat cassava in home gardens against 3-15 t/ha of normal cassava in smallholder plantations.
  • Starch content in Mukibat cassava was reduced by 0.7-2.2 per cent compared to normal cassava (Radjit and Prasetiaswati, 2011).
  • The technology is recommended for use on not less than one hectare of open field or home garden.


Environmental aspects

  • Cassava usually does not need irrigation and can be a rainfed crop.
  • Mukibat cassava needs sufficient water during the first growth so the planting should be done at the beginning of the rainy season.


Social aspects

  • Cultivation of grafted cassava requires more work than ungrafted plants. This offers a potential for employment in areas with a high demand for grafted cassava. The work requirement is two weeks for preparation of seedlings and one day for planting.
  • Seedlings preparation requires two people (men or women).
  • Usually, 10 people have to work for 3-4 days during planting and harvesting of 1 ha of land. The work is normally done by men.
  • In Indonesia, the labour force for Mukibat cassava cultivation is composed of 30 per cent women and 70 per cent men.


Issues for replication

  • Need for grafting skills.
  • Lack of capital for purchasing the rootstock for grafting.
  • Labour bottlenecks as grafting and planting time coincide.



Prof. N. Benkeblia, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Tel: +1 876 970 6849. Email:



  • De Bruin, G.H., and B. Guritno (1988). Farmers experimentation with cassava planting in Indonesia. ILEIA Newsletter, vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 14-15. Available from:
  • De Foresta, H., A. Basri, and Wiyono (1994). A very intimate agroforesty association. Cassava and improved homegardens: the Mukibat technique. Agroforestry Today, vol. 6, No.1, pp.12-14.
  • International Development Research Centre (1978). Cassava (Indonesia): an Evaluation. Available from 
  • Indonesian Legumes and Tuber Crops Research Institute (2009). The Main Result of the Study the Nuts and Tubers in 2008. Balitkabi Malang.
  • Nugroho, J.H., and others (1985). Technology cassava cultivation in monoculture and intercropping. In Proceedings of the Development of Cassava in East Java, Cassava Plants Research Center UB roots IDRC, Ford Foundation IDC, pp 181-200.
  • Prasetiaswati, N., and others (2008). Eligibility cassava farming system mukibat: A case study in the province of East Java. In Development of Agro-based Prospect Nuts and Tubers in Central Java, Proceedings of the National Seminar on Development of Legumes and Tubers, August 7, 2008, S. Nasir and others, eds. Surakarta: Faculty of Agriculture Univ. Sebelas Maret Surakarta, Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology (AIAT) of Central Java, ILETRI Malang (Cop).
  • Prasetiaswati, N., and others (2009). Evaluate the feasibility of cassava farming system Mukibat at the farm level, the case studies in Java and Lampung, 13 pp.
  • Radjit, B.S., and N. Prasetiaswati (2011). Tuber yield and starch content on several varieties of cassava by grafting system (Mukibat). Abstract in English. J. Agrivigor, vol. 10, No. 2, pp.185-195.


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