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Promotion and development of the cassava value chain in Central Africa

Project

Digitalisation

As part of its work programme in Central Africa, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) is committed to contributing to food and nutrition security in the region, through the promotion and implementation of innovative approaches, mechanisms and tools for sustainable and inclusive development of the cassava value chain.

Aim

As part of its work programme in Central Africa, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) is committed to contributing to food and nutrition security in the region, through the promotion and implementation of innovative approaches, mechanisms and tools for sustainable and inclusive development of the cassava value chain.

The cassava value chain is one of the agricultural sub-sectors in Central Africa that has great potential in terms of improving productivity, creating added value and developing regional trade. Cassava, a staple food, is a strategic product which can contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • Goal 1. No poverty: end poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  • Goal 2. Zero hunger: end hunger and famine, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

The grant project for ‘Promotion and development of the cassava value chain in Central Africa’, launched by the CTA in July 2017, whose activities will run until 2019, aims to contribute to these SDGs by supporting innovative pilot projects that have the potential to be replicated in other countries of the region. Specifically, the CTA aims to strengthen:

  • The links between small producers, processors and agribusiness for a better development of the cassava value chain.
  • Collaboration between researchers, small processing units and producers for the processing of cassava into enriched and nutritious products.
  • The technical, organisational and entrepreneurial capacities of women involved in cassava processing and distribution activities.

Approach

The call for proposals phase of the project has identified four innovative initiatives, for which the CTA signed four grant contracts for a maximum amount of €30,000 per project.

The four projects, which are 10% co-financed by the beneficiary organisations, aim to improve the supply of value-added cassava products to urban markets through capacity building and technical upgrading among the main players in processing and marketing (mainly women). Each project is based on a strongly participatory approach, both in terms of identifying needs and in defining, implementing and monitoring activities in the field.

Activities

The grants and technical support delivered by the CTA, in collaboration with PROPAC, have enabled the promoters of the selected projects to implement the following activities:

In Cameroon:

  • The National Higher Institute of Agro-industrial Science (Ecole nationale supérieure des sciences agro-industrielles – ENSAI), in collaboration with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement – CIRAD), has developed an innovative cassava retting technique to improve the health quality of products placed on the market, and to increase the income of cassava processors. This technique is promoted to artisanal cassava processing units in the central and eastern regions of Cameroon.
  • The Cooperative Society of Cassava, Other Tubers and Agricultural Products (Société coopérative de manioc, autres tubercules et produits agricoles – SOCOOPMATPA) supports cassava producers and/or processors in establishing partnerships with agribusiness companies in order to strengthen their commercial capacity, particularly in Yaoundé and Douala.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo:

  • The Federation of Christian Agricultural Cooperatives in Congo (Fédération des coopératives agricoles chrétiennes du Congo – FECCO) is running a programme to strengthen the technical and organisational capacities of women members of five farmer cassava processing organisations. The priority is to help them define specifications for cassava processing, product certification and to set up group sales points to organise distribution in Kinshasa’s urban markets.

In the Central African Republic:

  • The platform of the National Consultation of Farmers’ Organisations of Central Africa (Concertation nationale des organisations paysannes de Centrafrique – CNOP CAF), in collaboration with the University of Bangui (LASBAD), is implementing a programme to improve cassava retting techniques and develop cassava-based baking flour production in the urban and peri-urban markets of Bangui.

Impact

Through this series of pilot projects, the CTA and PROPAC have been able to field test certain technical and organisational innovations, enabling them to draw up a larger regional project in Central Africa: Manioc21.

More specifically, these four projects have had the following impacts:

  • A significant improvement in the income of women involved in cassava processing and distribution activities.
  • Stronger economic performance of the cassava value chain (at artisanal and semi-artisanal level), in particular by strengthening the technical, organisational and entrepreneurial capacities of female processors.
  • Increasing the supply of quality cassava-based products in the urban and peri-urban markets of Kinshasa, Bangui, Yaoundé and Douala.

Partners

Implementing partners

Country focus

Project outputs

Manioc 21: Releasing the potential of cassava