Developing sustainable and profitable cassava value chains in Central Africa

  • Central Africa

This project on the cassava sector in Central Africa complements and adds value to the many, often large, initiatives of other agencies that work on cassava in the region.

EN Central Africa tableWhy are we doing this?

Cassava is one of the most important food crops in Central Africa contributing greatly to food and nutrition security: it is rich in essential nutrients, strongly resistant to drought and able to flourish in poor soils. It also has a great potential to become a major source of animal feed and industrial products. However, several critical needs must be addressed to make the most of the nutritional and market opportunities. First, the links from the farmer to the consumer, known as the 'value chain,' need to be built up and strengthened, supported by strong institutions and closer connection to agribusiness. Second, there needs to be better communication of successful strategies in root and tuber cultivation and marketing, coupled with stronger market institutions.

What are we going to do?

This project will use a three-step approach, focusing on cassava. First, we will build on evidence from similar projects on the continent (notably in Ghana and Nigeria). Second, we will improve the ability of stakeholders to upgrade and then scale up production and marketing by focusing on the processing and commercialisation of the various products. Finally, we will promote the wider application of lessons learned through increased discussion and sharing with stakeholders.

Implementing organisations

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA
Plateforme Sous-Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d'Afrique Centrale (PROPAC)
Pôle Régional de Recherche Appliquée au Développement des Systèmes Agricoles d'Afrique Centrale (PRASAC)
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)

Other key partners

Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l'Afrique Centrale (CEMAC)
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Natural Resources Institute (NRI)
World Bank

What are we expecting?

The project will create better conditions and appropriate mechanisms for the various stakeholders in the region to effectively take part in the cassava value chain and increase their earnings. Operating in the trade will be easier as new rules, standard contracts, market information, innovative finance and arbitration mechanisms are established to make operations more efficient.

Public–private partnerships will also be promoted to strengthen the links between the small holders and the agribusiness with a view to develop high value added products (e.g. cassava beer, cassava flour, etc.). Increased use of ICT to access market information and the use of social media for marketing will result in increased profits. Better access to value-chain finance will allow businesses to expand.

Who will benefit?

Directly
• Farmers' organisations
• Private agro-enterprises (including those owned by women and young people)
• Financiers
• Government policy-makers

Indirectly
• Farmers
• Decision-makers in international organisations and NGOs
• Consumers

What impact will we have?

Through better information and knowledge management, strengthened market institutions and more-effective multi-stakeholder platforms, farmers' organisations and private entrepreneurs will be enabled to actively pursue opportunities in the cassava business, rather than being held back by the inefficiencies of the present system. Nutrition and livelihoods will improve, resulting in overall reduction of poverty in Central Africa.

How will we sustain it?

Farmers' groups have already expressed a strong interest in and support for the project's goals. CTA will make sure that the various stakeholders in the cassava value chain understand the objectives and activities of the project and therefore will engage with it. The private sector is expected to play a key role in the project and is at the heart of the sustainability strategy.

Find out more

Improving food and nutrition security through the cassava value chain
Revamping CTA’s presence in the Central African region
Accelerating agricultural transformation in Central Africa
Strengthening food and nutrition security through cassava