CAVA II Ghana under CSIR-Food Research Institute aims to scale-out and scale-up development of high quality and industrial grade cassava flour value chains that will demand a total of 129,245 tons of fresh cassava roots from smallholder farmers within five years.
In pursuit of this goal, Business Development Experts (BDEs) in Cassava: Adding Value for Africa Project-Ghana, Francis Adio and Mariam Tandoh Wordey have steadily been on the move to strengthen the cassava value chain and market development in the country.
The Business Development Experts embarked on an extensive search for value chain actors in the cassava sub-sector in Ghana, with a view to strengthening the whole market system, as well as increase cassava uptake and utilisation in Ghana.
One of the efforts of the BDEs in the cassava value chain development, culminated into a new collaboration built with Tropical Starch Company Limited, a cassava processing company in the Central Region. The company which is situated at the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District in the Central Region of Ghana is a medium scale agro-processing company which specialises in the manufacturing of first grade industrial starch for the Ghanaian market.
The registered private limited liability company was established by the Managing Director, Alhaji Musah Ali, who controls 100 percent of the business shares. The company has medium scale agro-processing machinery which has the capacity to process four tons of industrial cassava flour (IGCF) in a day, for supply to paperboard industries. Apart from producing industrial grade cassava flour as its core business, the company also produces High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) and traditional cassava products.
Alhaji Musah Ali, the entrepreneur behind Topical Starch Company Limited ventured into cassava processing several years back, when he was employed as an Assistant Administrative Manager, at Nigerian Associated Best Foods Limited, a company which specialised in the production and marketing of farm products which include: livestock, maize and cassava for animals feeds.
After a few years with Nigeria Associated Best Foods Limited in Nigeria, Alhaji Ali relocated back to his country Ghana, where he was able to acquire a land at Abura Dunkwa for cassava production. For several years, the entrepreneur cultivated cassava and processed it into gari, however, when the company was identified by CSIR-Food Research Institute, CAVA II- Ghana, he was exposed to the lucrative market of industrial grade cassava flour processing.
Encouraged by the market potentials and the profit margin, Alhaji Musa was motivated to transform his gari processing industry into an industrial starch manufacturing company.
Having extended a hand of collaboration with CAVA II Ghana, the Tropical Starch Company Limited is now benefiting from the project’s business development support and technical backstopping. The project is facilitating the company to develop cassava based products that will meet its minimum quality standards. This involves assisting the company to improve its products quality, through processing, factory hygiene, packaging and bagging. Although Tropical Starch Company now gets support from CAVA II Project, its operation is still hampered by a number of challenges which has slowed down its pace of production. The company lacks modern equipment for mass production, which would enable it to meet the demands of its growing market. The company is also constrained by logistics problems which affect the movement of fresh cassava roots from its out growers’ farm to the processing plant.
The cassava processing company hopes to access funds for the upscaling of factory. The upscaling project at Tropical Starch Company Limited will cost approximately GHC 440,000. At the completion of its upscaling project, Tropical Starch Company will supply high quality cassava chips to feed mills in Ghana.