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A Youth’s Dreams Come To Life Thanks To The Opportunities Created By The Flash Dryers

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Sarah Adong is 24 years old and a single mother with three children.  Currently, she works as a peeler at Adyaka Wholesalers Limited, a cassava flash dryer factory in Apac district. In a day, she earns between 4000 to 5000 Uganda shillings.  The factory employs various laborers including 10 women peelers for its day to day operations.  “The life changing moment of my life was when I was taken on for this job at the cassava factory. I know my future is brighter now, for I am able to make money.” With this employment, Adong is assured of a daily meal for her and the children. But being young, thrilled at her first job and seeming inexperienced with handling money, Adong has a plan. “I intend to join a community generating income program to guide how I will spend my earnings. I now have responsibilities around food supplies and school fees for my children. And for safety purposes, I also have to save up some of my earnings for emergencies that could arise.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adong, after peeling, carries the roots to the washing area

She feels rather relieved that she is not yet tied down by demands for school dues. Her eldest child is in primary one, the second is in baby class and the youngest is still at the breast. “Fees is not yet as demanding because my children are still quite young. This gives me the opportunity to plan accordingly and save up as much as I can for their tuition and scholastic materials.” Says a smiling Adong.  Aside from her responsibilities, Adong has even much bigger plans.  “My dream is to one day own a business of my own and become an influential woman in society. This clever idea (being in a group) provides me with hope.” She says.

Born in Lira district, Adong is the second last of 6 siblings. Due to poverty and its related challenges, she was forced to leave their birth home 3 years ago in search of a job to live better. That is how she ended up in Apac district. Her life in Apac was also however challenging, and being a single mother with no assured income to survive on, her dreams seemed hopeless for sometime.  But now, employed and earning, many of her dreams are coming to life including that of looking after her younger sister. “Growing up as orphans was very challenging especially for me and my two sisters. We were under our elder step brothers and life was not smooth. When I got to 21, I moved out of home to try and make a living. It was however hard leaving my little sister (our last born) behind. Now that I have a job, I plan to bring her here and help her get a job as well.” She adds “I know that by the end of the year, I will have saved up enough money to and go get my little sister and give her hope in the future she seems to have given up on.”

Adong infront of the flash dyer facility at Adyaka

Adong’s story is one relatable to many youths in Uganda out there that are faced with life’s challenges and are looking for a better life through employment. For Adong, her dreams are coming to life, thanks to the Cassava Adding Value for Africa Phase Two (CAVA II) Project that has extended such opportunities to the youth and other people through beneficial community projects.  The CAVA II Project facilitated the successful installation of the two cassava factories of Windwood Millers Limited and Adyaka Wholesalers Limited in Lira and Apac districts respectively. Each factory needs about 16 tons of Fresh Cassava Root (FCR) per shift which is dried into 4 tons of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) per shift.

Packaged bags of the HQCF ready for sale

CAVA II is implemented in five African Countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) through the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, (NRI).  Specifically, in Uganda, CAVA II aims to create by 2019 an annual demand for 69,030 tons of FCR from smallholder farmers and incomes from sale of fresh roots and processing by smallholders who will generate at least USD 4.5 Million/ annum for rural communities.

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CSS Project supported farmer gets accolade for best Cassava Seed Entrepreneur

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Successful cassava farmer and beneficiary of the Cassava Seed Systems Project (CSS), Mr. Akuttu Augustine recently won an award for “Best Cassava Seed Entrepreneur 2013-2017” under the Cassava Seed Systems Project. Mr. Akutu, a resident of Amuria district in Eastern Uganda was also awarded a certificate of inspection on fulfilling the quality and plant health standards for cassava planting materials. The certificate qualifies him to supply certified cassava stems for planting during the year 2017. He got the two credits in June 2017 this year.

Mr. Akuttu owns over 300 acres of cassava spread out in parts of Amuria, Soroti and Serere districts. Last year, in 2016, he made sales of 170 Million Uganda Shillings from 3500 bags of cuttings sold. This year, he supplied 1275 bags of stems and earned 60 Million Uganda Shillings. He has also been contracted by the Government’s National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) to supply cassava cuttings to neighboring districts including Abim.
His proceeds have been used to among other things, buy more land to expand acreage to grow more cassava, set up new constructions at home and a commercial building in Soroti town.

Mr. Akuttu shows off his accolade and certificate earned from his efforts as a dedicated CSE

Also recognized with a similar certificate is Mr. Sam Opio, another successful Cassava Seed Entrepreneur and owner of Adyaka Farm in Apac district -Northern Uganda. Mr. Opio owns over 150 acres of cassava and is still expanding his acreage with aim to further boost his cassava business but also to ensure sustainable root supply for his cassava Flash drying factory of Adyaka Wholesalers Limited, also located in Apac district.

As a certified seed entrepreneur, Mr. Opio has been contracted to supply cuttings to the Government’s Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) this year, 2017. Also, in 2016, last year he supplied cuttings to OWC and earned 200 Million Uganda Shillings.

Mr. Opio with his certificate of recognition as a certified Cassava Seed Entrepreneur (CSE)

The Cassava Seed Systems Project (CSS) aims to catalyze the establishment of a functional cassava seed system to effectively regulate the production and dissemination of quality cassava planting materials in Uganda so as to improve food security and livelihoods of the small holder farmer through timely and cost effective access to disease free cassava planting materials.

The key implementers of the project are the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII), National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), CHAIN Uganda, BioCrops and the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).

 

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Cassava farmer expands farming business with CAVA II trainings and Farmer-to-Farmer technical assistance

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Christine Nalubinga is a farmer and member of NADIFA in Nakasongola. She is a housewife, but for the last 10 years has engaged in farming with her husband. She began cassava farming, despite having no prior training in cassava production.

Christine and her husband have 13 Children. She is 45 and he is 48 years old. The couple had for a long time been planting cassava the old fashioned way until in 2013 when CAVA intervened. Their efforts then were not of much benefit given the poor harvests obtained from their small gardens.  Years later, their farming business has expanded and the couple has bought some cows, which they use during planting. Her cassava business continues to grow at the new cassava opportunities opening up greatly.

“We harvest about 150 bags of stems and sell each bag at 35,000 Uganda shillings giving us an earning of about 4 million Uganda shillings in just a month. We also earn a lot from processing.This is cassava money that has greatly improved our household status”-Christine Nalubinga. The couple today owns 3 and a half acres of cassava of the NASE 14 and NAROCASS 1 varieties, and plans to expand their acreage with an additional 1 acre on which to plant more cassava.

 

Christine narrates how it all came about. ‘It so happened that one day we were among the many farmers mobilized for a training on cassava production and it is from then that our lives changed. We have since had access to quality seed of the NASE 14 and NAROCASS 1 varieties.’ Christine says.

The couple was however by then not part of the Nakasongola District Farmers Association (NADIFA) group until after seeing the benefits of belonging to a group after a training they attended. ‘We were trained on good agronomic practices and management of the cassava crop and after the training my husband and I registered to be part of NADIFA’ Christine adds.

Since joining the NADIFA group, the couple has seen tremendous changes in their livelihoods. They are food secure, able to provide an education for their children, engage in farming of other crops and also rearing livestock. The couple has also constructed a house and purchased more land to expand their farming business.

 

CAVA II Uganda has been greatly influential in offering trainings and imparting knowledge and skills to the farmers in not only good agronomic practices but also processing of HQCF.

In a month, the group processes about 70 tons of FCR with the breweries being their largest end user market. Other markets include the local bakeries and home consumption.

Christine and other group members of NADIFA peeling fresh root to process HQCF at their processing site.

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British MPs visit CAVA II Uganda project interventions

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British MPs visit CAVA II Uganda project interventions, express admiration for efforts to transform lives of Small Holder Farmers

AfrII Chairman-Professor G.W Otim-Nape briefs the dignitaries on efforts of CAVA II to promote technologies to improve cassava production and processing in Uganda

10 April 2017, Kampala-Lord Cameron of Dillington- Ewen James Hanning Cameron and 4 other dignitaries from the UK Parliaments Science and Technology Committee last week visited AfrII’s CAVA II project areas of operation in Nakasongola district, where the dignitaries were briefed by officials from AfrII on the projects interventions to beneficiaries in the district

The Lords met AfrII Chairman Professor G. W Otim-Nape and senior representatives of the CAVA II Uganda project led by the Country Manager Mr. Francis Alacho.

During their visit to the project sites of Nakasongola District Farmers Association (NADIFA) and Agaliawambu Cassava Processing and Marketing Cooperative Society Ltd (ACAPROMA), the MPs inspected the HQCF processing sites and were treated to demonstrations using the processing equipment -the Manual chipper and Motor driven cassava chippers.

Representing the visiting dignitaries, Lord Cameron said he was “immensely proud of CAVA II’s contribution to the lives of the beneficiaries” in supporting them to access market for their products but also in ensuring they adapt to new technologies aimed at improving cassava production and processing. He also commended the farmers for their willingness to take on new innovations aimed at improving their livelihoods.

According to AfrII Chairman Professor Otim-Nape, due to ongoing challenges with the cassava crop there is need for vigilance by partners to map out new interventions to curb these challenges.  “Cassava is so important but is still faced with many challenges like the CBSD that is devastating the cassava. CBSD is a serious threat to cassava shelf life in Uganda and so CAVA II Uganda is working tirelessly with partners on projects like the Cassava Seed System (CSS) to tackle the problem. Innovations are already in place like the improved cassava seed varieties of NASE 3, NASE 14, NASE 19 and NAROCASS 1 that farmers are accessing under the two projects” says Professor Nape.

Professor Nape shows Lord Cameron a sample of a CBSD stricken crop

He recollects that the mosaic disease was cited in Uganda as early as 1949 and attempts for its eradication have since been on. “From then up to around the year 2000, innovations have been ongoing and to date new ways to continue with the eradication are still ongoing. AfrII, particularly has been very instrumental in cassava development through its projects like CAVA II and CSS working with partners on new innovations to address the cassava challenges. Our interventions under CAVA II have benefitted thousands of people in the three regions of operations and we are still spreading out to other areas.” adds Professor Nape.

Nakasongola district is well known for saving the rest of the country from the era of Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) that almost wiped out the cassava crop in Uganda in the early 90s. The district supported research on the crop in which AfrII Chairman, Professor George William Otim-Nape was very instrumental in conducting research on the crop that involved breeding the commonly known NASE 3 variety locally called Migyera that saved the country’s lost hope in cassava. Through partnership with AfrII’s CAVA II Project, cassava farmers in Nakasongola have earned money from sale of fresh cassava roots that is processed into HQCF. This has improved the house hold incomes and living conditions of the members of NADIFA and ACAPROMA. Both associations have also been able to buy assets in form of machinery i.e. manual chippers and Motor driven cassava chippers to support value addition.

In his remarks the CAVA II Uganda Country Manager, Mr. Francis Alacho highlighted that the CAVA Project has concentrated on developing value chains to ensure that smallholders have an assured market for their Fresh Cassava Roots (FCRs) for processing. “Phase one of the project successfully developed that value chain for High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) that is versatile and being used in baking, paperboard, and as a source of starch in the brewing industry” Mr. Alacho adds “Phase two (CAVA II) allowed to build other value chains in line with Ethanol, starches, glucose and so on though in Uganda, the highest value chain is still HQCF. Processing HQCF is the driver of the whole system whereby if farmers have gotten market where they can sell FCR on a continued basis, they then have incentive to adopt new improved varieties readily accessible to them through linkages and synergies created with other projects especially the CSS.

The CAVA II Uganda Country Manager, Mr Francis Alacho briefs Lord Cameron on the projects successes

In the 3 regions of operation (Northern, Eastern and Central) the Project has successfully increased cassava yield from a baseline of 16.1 tones/ha to 33.8 tons/ha in 2016 in beneficiary gardens.  There has also been an increase in number of beneficiaries (direct and indirect) from 2,688 to 10,699 SHFs from 2013 to 2016.

Mr. Alacho however mentions challenges still faced in processing, where some farmers still use the traditional methods of drying (sun/open air) which slow down drying time and yet end users need assurance of continuous supply. He emphasized the need to focus attention towards promoting the solar screen drying technology so as to meet the demands from the end users.

The farmers of the two groups expressed gratitude to the visitors and equally to CAVA II Uganda for the efforts extended to them. The Chairman ACAPROMA, Mr. Henry Muwanguzi thanked the Visitors and CAVA II teams for their continued support towards farmers through projects aimed at improving their livelihoods. Muwanguzi re-echoed the challenges still faced including limited technology and climate change that are greatly affecting yield. “Nakasongola district is lucky to have a nearby water source-L.Kyoga but people still have dry gardens. We therefore humbly appeal to the UK government to assist us with small scale irrigation so as to curb this problem. We also embrace the new drying technologies promoted by the CAVA Project and further appeal to the government to extend a hand to help us acquire the solar dryers. We rely heavily on sun/ open air drying but the weather changes are continuously affecting the drying time. We look at solar drying as more efficient and want to adopt this technology.” Says Muwanguzi.

Many of the processors heavily rely on sun/ open air drying technology as opposed to Solar or Flash drying

The Cassava Adding Value for Africa Phase Two Project (CAVA II) aims to increase the incomes of SHFs and community processors through participation in profitable and sustainable value added cassava chains in five sub-Saharan African Countries of Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi.

 

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CAVA II Uganda hosts CAVA II Tanzania over Flash Drying Technology

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The visiting team including Mrs. Grace Mahende the Country Manager CAVA II Tanzania and Mrs. Mahava Rhoda, the Lake Zonal Coordinator CAVA II Tanzania sat with the Uganda team in a brief meeting earlier today to share a few experiences on operations of the CAVA II Project activities in the two countries.

‘We want to learn from Uganda’s experience with the flash drying technology so as to be able to foresee how to handle challenges that may come with the new technology once we also have it up and running in Tanzania’ hinted Mrs. Mahende Grace, the Country Manager CAVA II Tanzania.

The flash drying investments are under the CAVA II project that is being implemented in Uganda by the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII.

The CAVA II Tanzania team will be visiting Windwood Millers Limited, the Flash Dryer Factory in Lira District and will also tour cassava farms within Lira to learn what and How Uganda is doing it to sustain fresh cassava root supply.

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Capacity building of CAVA II Uganda team and other AfrII Staff

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The AfrII Staff Results Oriented Management Training was successfully concluded on Thursday 1st December 2016 with the team generating a lot of knowledge in the areas of strategic management, revenue generation, planning and performance management as well as leadership and governance within an institution.

In his wrap up message, the Trainer, Mr. John Linton, the Commercial Director at NRI advised AfrII Management to regularly analyze progress of the organization in the areas of staff performance and also business generation for track of progress of the organization.

In his closing remarks, the AfrII Chairman Professor G.W. Otim-Nape appreciated NRI for the opportunity granted to AfrII to benefit from the 4 day training to introduce the organization’s staff to the principles of effective management to improve efficiency.

He particularly extended appreciation to John Linton for the skills and knowledge extended to the AfrII Staff in the areas of resource generation, one of the key elements needed to drive and push activities for an organization’s operations.

staff-training-linton-edited

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Over 50 Cassava Processors acquire skills and knowledge in processing HQCF

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hqcf-processors-trainingAgricultural and food scientists from AfrII and NRI recently teamed up to train processors in production of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF).

80 Cassava Processors from the regions of Eastern, Central, Northern and West Nile have benefited from the HQCF Quality Management Training in which they were availed skills and knowledge in processing HQCF.

The training happened in Lira District from 21st- 22nd November. The lead trainer, Dr. Aurelie Bechoff, a Food Technologist at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI)-University of Greenwich took the participants through the necessary steps and procedures required to produce HQCF including Use of good quality cassava roots to obtain HQCF which is of purely/ or only white color.

The processors were also trained in the areas of good management, quality control and quality assurance as well as the process for achieving HQCF (what it takes to produce HQCF, the steps to follow, Cleaning and maintaining equipment, weighing-peeling, grating and sieving).

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CAVA II Uganda gets over 40 new SMEs and CPGs into cassava production and processing

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With increased efforts to promote cassava value addition for increased shelf life and better income, new Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME’s) and Community Processing Groups (CPGs) in Uganda are increasingly expressing interest in production of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), which interest is largely attributed to the CAVA II Uganda project. The 48 new SME’s and CPGs are from the Northern part of Uganda.

In the month of August alone this year, 33 new SME’s and CPGs in Teso and Bullisa areas were initiated into active HQCF processing. Among these is Landmark Millers Limited in Soroti district (SME), Koloin Agro-processors in Ngora district (SME), Teso farmers in Soroti district (SME), Kokom in Pallisa district (CPG), Kokong Village SACCO in Ngora district (CPG), and Marshall cassava in Bullisa district (SME).

In the Lango region over 15 SMEs and CPGs were adopted including ORIB CING Women Group in Alebtong district (CPG), Twomo Emmanuel in Apac district (SME), IGEL Cassava Growers in Kole district (CPG), Ongica Farmers Group in Lira district (CPG) and Divine organic foods in Lira district (SME).

Since their initiation, the project has availed them trainings in the areas of quality assurance in value addition with targets to have traceability to ascertain quality in cassava processing. The project has also linked these with clean planting materials through collaboration with the Cassava Seed System project in which certified and high yielding disease tolerant varieties (NAROCASS I, NASE 14, and NASE 19) of cassava seed have been readily accessed for planting, to increase yield production.

One of the beneficiaries on board, a new SME and CSE is Mr. Okiror Gilbert of Koloin Agro-Processors, located in Koloin, Ngora District. He has adopted use of raised metallic sun drying racks for drying his processed cassava. He accessed these racks through the CAVA II Uganda project that is being implemented by Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII). With this new technology, Mr. Okiror is able to achieve drying in 3 -4 hours and then mill into flour. The technology has also saved him the burden of drying cassava on bare ground.

I have been a cassava farmer for a long time but it is just of recent after I was discovered by CAVA II that I have greatly improved in this business. I started on cassava multiplication and processing, and currently with my 10 acres of cassava I can now produce better varieties of cassava and supply of roots for processing is no longer a problem. With the knowledge CAVA II has availed me, I’m also passing on this knowledge to other farmers and I can tell you, a lot is changing in their lives as well”. Says Mr. Okiror

With the trainings received from CAVA II Uganda, Mr. Okiror has managed to reach out to fellow farmers and passed onto these, services including availing farmer to farmer skills enhancement (pay a Visit and learn), training youth on good agricultural practices such as proper spacing, row planting, weed management, and timely harvesting. The value addition demonstrations are widely impacting on the whole community and many have turned to cassava production. He has also established a farmer to farmer saving club in which at each sitting each farmer gives in a savings of 1000 Uganda shillings.

Mr. Okiror acknowledges CAVA II Uganda for the support including availing him processing skills and techniques to obtain High Quality Cassava Flour and access to clean cassava seed for multiplication business. He accessed the NASE14, NASE 19 and NAROCASS1 varieties that he is currently farming, through CAVA II Uganda.

Another beneficiary SME is Landmark Millers Limited in Soroti district, managed by Mr. Okubal Charles-the Director. His vision on cassava includes an inclusive out grower’s business model to sustain cassava root supply and has set up mother gardens from which farmers can access new varieties of good quality planting materials. He has been in the processing business dealing in maize milling but has now dedicated part of his milling unit to process High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF).

we have a very big dream for cassava and we are going step by step. I have embarked on establishing raised metallic drying racks at all processing sites based in the rural setting. Before we met CAVA II Uganda, we had so many challenges, struggling with cassava, drying it on the ground and with my mill being by the roadside you can imagine how the quality was being affected. Cassava is here all year round and cassava for me as a person from Soroti, is the staple and so if we have to sustain and improve livelihoods of our people, we need to promote what we locally depend on, add value to it and promote it further than just a crop for food” Mr. Okubal remarks.

Also, with his growing network of cassava farmers, Mr. Okubal hopes that with time, the challenges to do with scarcity of the cassava crop will be addressed. “Our network is such that we have six registered sub-counties with 10 groups of farmers registered with us. We also have some farmers outside the network which keeps growing by the day thanks to CAVA II. We have tasked farmers to each give the mill 1 acre of cassava of the certified planting material. In Ngora, for example our farmer group has already planted some new materials on their 10acre plot. We have also agreed that Landmark millers must have at least 10 acres in each location to act as the mother gardens for seed multiplication. With CAVA on our side, we are going to be rest assured of the material we circulate, because so far, through them, I have been able to access clean planting materials to sustain the fresh cassava root supply for my mill”

He followed the advice availed by CAVA II and has since had a break through in supply, being one of the major suppliers of cassava flour to the breweries. “We are expected to supply about 200 tons of cassava flour to UBL for their Ngule beer but we also have the regional markets, like Rwanda and South Sudan buying from us” says Mr. Okubal who is also hopeful to obtain the flash dryer technology in the near future.

The AfrII Zonal Manager- CAVA II Uganda, Mr. Anthony Ijala says that the growing interest the SME’s have gained in the project is proof that a lot is being done and appreciated. “when you see SME’s like Mr. Okubal of Land Mark Millers getting on board, this is a good thingHis interest with the CAVA project has pushed him to achieve bigger in as far as processing. He has a growing farmer network and has embarked on a lot of demonstrating with a lot of new planting materials of varieties like NAROCAS 1, NASE 14 and NASE 19. The varieties give a yield of 30 tons per hectare and these are yields that are very hopeful for Uganda to sustain the cassava processing sector”

‘Another exemplary new SME, Marshall Cassava in Bullisa district have taken it very seriously and have so far set up 5 sets of raised metallic drying racks and a solar screen dryer. These are achievements we are proud of as a project but we also have to acknowledge the willingness of many farmers out there to embrace new technologies” adds Mr. Ijala.

The CAVA II team has been greatly influential in all these steps and special acknowledgements are attributed to the Zonal team including the Zonal Manager, Mr. Anthony Ijala and the Zonal officer, Mr. Summuel Baker Ogwang. Also sharing in this glory is the CAVA II Uganda Country Manager, Mr. Francis Alacho, the CAVA II Uganda technical advisor Professor G. W Otim-Nape, also the AfrII Chairman, the BDE’s and the rest of the CAVA II Uganda team, whose continued efforts in improving cassava production under the CAVA II project is greatly benefitting.

The Cassava Adding Value for Africa Phase 2 (CAVA II) Project supports adding value and commercialization of cassava in Africa. The CAVA II project has successfully developed value chains for HQCF, by supporting investors to establish HQCF processing sites in Eastern, Northern and Central Uganda. The current investors include community processors, SMEs based on sun and solar drying. The project also facilitated processors to supply on contract arrangements HQCF to end user industries such as rural bakeries, beer breweries and biscuit manufacturers who use it to make composite flour, beer and biscuits respectively. CAVA II is being implemented in 18 districts including Pallisa, Kibuku, Budaka, Bukedea, Kumi, Soroti, Ngora, Serere, Dokolo, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Lira, Apac, Otuke, Oyam Kole Kaberamaido and Alebtong.

CAVA II project beneficiaries include; Smallholder farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises and selected projects working on cassava value chains, among others.

The project is also being implemented in 4 other countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi.

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AgriTT Partners meet over feasibility study on large scale cassava industrialization in Uganda

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agritt-study-edited

Experts from China and UK jointly with experts from AfrII have teamed up to conduct a Feasibility Study on Large Scale Cassava Industrialisation in Uganda. The experts undertaking this study are exploring the areas around Investment and Finance, i.e a look at the wider situation for investment in larger scale processing of cassava in Uganda and also building a cassava industry in Uganda.
This study is under the Agricultural Technology Transfer (AgriTT) Project of which AfrII is an implementing partner.

The experts including Dr. Liang Guo Tao from China, Dr. Andrew Graffham and Mr. Ulrich Kleih of NRI were recently hosted at the AfrII secretariat boardroom for presentations on findings so far of the ongoing study.

 

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CAVA II project partners review the project operation in Uganda

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AfrII recently hosted partners on phase two of its Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II) project on a 3 day’s project review and update visit trip. These included the CAVA II Nigeria team, the Project Director Professor Kolawole Adebayo and his communications assistant Halimat Badmus and the NRI team had Richard Lamboll and John Linton. The visit of August 14th-18th included a series of activities like a tour of the two flash dryer factories in Lira and Apac Districts as well as field visits to SME, CSE and CPGs as beneficiaries of the CAVA II project.

The country manager CAVA II Uganda Mr. Francis Alacho briefed the partners on the milestones CAVA II Uganda has achieved since its inception in March 2015. He said “So far, we have fully installed two flash dryers in Lango sub region. The project has also generated high interest from local investors. These newly embraced investors are being supported by the project in areas of processing cassava into HQCF. We are training them on among other things, quality standards of processing HQCF

The CAVA II Project Director, Professor Kolawole Adebayo from FUNAAB, Nigeria in his remarks during a meeting held at the AfrII secretariat commended CAVA II Uganda on progress in the areas of value chain addition through promoting processing of cassava into HQCF by the SME’s, CPGs and other actors in this value chain.

Professor Kola also hinted on how far the project has come and said “The work we are doing all across Africa has been a very interesting journey. For many people, when we started they couldn’t believe that cassava could be what it is today. I’m particularly delightful that here in Uganda in addition to the interests that have been generated, people have actually committed their own resources as a proof of belief in what we are trying to do.”

He also spoke of the newly adopted technologies by the Ugandan investors “One can only hope that the dream we have will materialize quite soon, particularly with two new flash dryers being installed in the country with the brewing industry buying so much cassava for beer, with people in the other sectors like biscuit and bakeries, looking at cassava as a way to reduce their import deals. And so with such tremendous progress, I think the work we have been doing together has been very beneficial to individuals, investors, the country and to people whose livelihoods revolve around cassava.”

Meanwhile AfrII Chairman, also the CAVA II Uganda Technical Advisor, Professor G.W Otim-Nape commended the partners for their continued support towards CAVA II Uganda, which support he says has largely contributed to its ability to achieve its specific project targets.

The Cassava Adding Value for Africa Phase 2 (CAVA II) Project supports adding value and commercialization of cassava in Africa. The CAVA II project has successfully developed value chains for HQCF, by supporting investors to establish HQCF processing sites in Eastern, Northern and Central Uganda. The current investors include community processors, SMEs based on sun and solar drying. The project also facilitated processors to supply on contract arrangements of HQCF to end user industries such as rural bakeries, beer breweries and biscuit manufacturers who use it to make composite flour, beer and biscuits respectively.

In Uganda, CAVA II is being implemented in 18 districts of Pallisa, Kibuku, Budaka, Bukedea, Kumi, Soroti, Ngora, Serere, Dokolo, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Lira, Apac, Otuke Oyam, Kaberamaido, Kole and Alebtong. The project is also being implemented in 4 other African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, and Malawi.

CAVA II project beneficiaries include; Small holder farmers, Small and Medium enterprises, and selected projects working on cassava value chains, among others.

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