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Tuesday, 06 July 2010

Unlocking cassava potential for food and industrial use

Recognizing the potential of cassava as the ‘poverty and drought fighter’ crop in Africa, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Farm Concern International have launched a 3 year program that will help 30,000 small holder farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania increase cassava for food and industrial use by processing it at village level. The first of its kind in this region, the project dubbed “Cassava Village Processing Project” (CVPP) will unlock potential for increased incomes for small holder farmers beyond food usage by means of a model where out of each land portion under cassava cultivation, an estimated ⅛ of the produce will be dedicated to home consumption while a ¼ to ½ will go to industrial use.
In the initial phase, communities will be mobilised to set up 120 village processing units, which will be called ‘commercial villages’ that will graduate farmers into cassava commercial producers and semi-processors who will be linked to animal feeds manufacturers.  Although cassava is a drought resistant crop and can grow in soils of low fertility, its high perishability and bulkiness limits transportation and mass market utilization, confining it to markets around the villages where it is produced. Village-based value addition will address this challenge by drastically improving supply chain management, post harvest management and prolonged storage.

Source: Alliance for a Green Revolution Africa