The Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII) has officially joined hands with the Vredeseilanden Country Office East Africa (VECO EA) under the second phase of the Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II) project, in a bid to jointly catalyse the emerging cassava industry in Uganda. The two organisations have agreed to work together to enhance each other’s capacity in the areas of cassava processing, value addition, quality assurance, market linkages, business/investment models, product development, equipment fabrication and linkage to financial institutions.
AfrII has agreed to provide technical support to VECO EA’s beneficiary Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) and Community Processing Groups (CPGs), particularly Kameke ACE and Nankoma ACE in eastern Uganda in the processing of High Quality Cassava Chips and Grits (HQCC/G). The farmers shall also develop skills establishing drying technologies, quality assurance mechanisms, successful business models and standards certification, which the institute has been successful in promoting among its beneficiaries. VECO EA on the other hand shall strengthen the Institute’s ability to support cassava processing equipment fabricators and cassava drying constructors to develop and pilot artificial drying technology for cassava processing. The new partnership is based on a mutual interest of both parties to ensure that there is a sustainable development of inclusive cassava value chains in their areas of operation and the rest of Uganda, while remaining relevant to the needs of SHFs, processors and end users. Both parties intend to utilise the available Ugandan, regional and international markets to enable the farmers to generate and increase their household incomes in order to align with the Uganda government’s plan to improve the household incomes especially of SHFs and women through the production of a commercial crop. The aim of CAVA II in Uganda is to create by 2019 an annual demand for 69,030 tons of fresh cassava roots from smallholder farmers. Incomes from sale of fresh roots and processing by smallholders will generate at least USD4.5 million/annum for rural communities.