Thursday, April 11, 2013

East African Cassava Farmers Benefit From Value Addition Project

Over 54,000 small scale cassava farmers in East Africa has benefitted from value addition project by a NGO.

Brought under 36 Cassava Village Processing Project (CVPP) in Kenya’s Busia and Makueni districts, Arusha in Tanzania and Uganda’s Jinja and Buyende town, the farmers were given over 16 million cassava cuttings of different varieties within a year.

The Farm Concern International (FCI) which funded the project said it has increased income for women and young people by increasing the potential of cassava as source of carbohydrate for animal feed, human and starch for industrial food processing companies.

“During the intervention a total of 10,642 metric tonnes of cassava was processed into chips and chunks for both local and industrial markets, 23,400 metric tonnes were sold to the fresh market, with 45,806 metric tonnes utilised for food security,” FCI said.

The project which partnered with private sector has helped farmers to commercialize farming to improve food security and incomes through small scale industries by mobile motorized and manual chippers for micro-processing which allows farmers to supply to key starch, human and animal feed manufacturers across the region.

“Cassava Villages have been transformed into commercial hubs where small scale farmers collectively produce, process and market their produce accruing benefits as a result of economies of scale and lower transactional costs,” the NGO said.

Farm Concern has also facilitated market linkages between the commercial villages and key cassava industrial players through village based business forums (VBFs).

Under the project cassava farming has been transformed from subsistence crop into a reputable commercialised commodity valued after streamlined marketing systems and favourable market prices.

To cut off brokers the project also created saving schemes in 43 villages whose collective savings of Sh18.2 million has promoted lending for individual and group investments.

The project has created over Sh320million in a year of crop produced in the project which was also carried out.

Manuel Odeny © 2013

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