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In furtherance of its goal to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers, CAVA II Nigeria took its sensitisation and identification programmes to smallholder farmers clustered in villages in Oyo and Ogun states.
The sensitisation programmes, which were carried out between August and September 2014 were targeted at localities considered as potential cassava belt regions in the country. The villages visited in Oyo State include: Ajana, Irepodun, Papanla, Apata, Atanbala, Arigbeyo, Onilekun, Alagbanbudo, Apata oku, Asaka, Agbede, Gbogbolowo and others around Igboora while Eruwa and Lanlate farmers were not included at this time.
During the process of the sensitisation, various issues and constraints were noticed from the smallholder farmers. Some of the challenges noticed affecting cassava production in the rural areas included non-availability of markets for their cassava roots and the challenge of low soil fertility.
Rising up to the challenge of non-availability of markets, CAVA II, Nigeria linked up some of the rural farmers with large factories and SMEs who need large volumes of fresh cassava roots for the production of ethanol, high quality cassava flour, cassava starch, syrups and other confectionaries.
In the course of the sensitization programmes, various inputs to different parts of the value chain and benefits were discussed. Within the scheduled period, CAVA II also reached the areas of Awowo, Ifo, Owiwi, Ilewo Orile, Abule Oko, Olorunda and Ijale Papa and Ikenne in Ogun State.
Through the sensitisation, 1,500 smallholder farmers in Ogun and Oyo states who hold a minimum of one hectare of cassava farmland were reached. The data of the farmers was also taken in order to assist the project in building the capacity of the farmers, especially those residing in areas that are very close to large scale factories.
Some of the large factories and SMEs that the rural farmers were linked with include: Allied Atlantic Distilleries Ltd (AADL), Igbesa, Thai Farms International Ltd, Ososa, Psaltery Starch International Ltd, Ado Awaye and Jonak Oshwa Farms Ltd, Idere.