In a bid to create more markets for smallholder farmers in the country, the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II), Nigeria recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three top cassava companies: Thai Farms International, Allied Atlantic Industries Limited and Greentech Limited.
The idea behind the MoU as revealed by the Country Manager, CAVA II, Nigeria, Prof Lateaf Sanni, is to foster the relationship between farmers and factories thereby increase the incomes of the farmers.
According to Prof Sanni, “the outcome of the MoU is to ensure that the livelihoods of smallholder farmers are actually promoted. Some of the companies pay for cassava roots based on premium; cassava roots that have high starch content above 20 -25 per cent have better price. So, the higher the percentage of starch in cassava root, the better the price.”
“What we are going to offer as a project is that the company will tell us some of the roots that supply higher starch content, then we will introduce those stems to the farmers. Once we increase the yield of farmers within the unit area where they are planting, the implication is that they will have almost one quarter to half of expected profit as additional profit and that will enhance their livelihood. The farmers will have access to more money, consistent supply of root to the market and the technical expertise that CAVA II is going to bring to that kind of relationship.” He added.
The Supply Chain Manager Thai Farms International, Mr Leke Aranju, who spoke on the benefits of the MoU explained that it will enable the company to get consistent supply of cassava roots. He said, “Thai Farms currently utilises about 160,000 tons of cassava roots per day, so the MoU will enable us to get consistent supply. Then it will also benefit the Thai farms in the sense that CAVA II will train them on how to increase their productivity. If they can improve their agronomic practices and improve their varieties, there is hope that their tonnage will increase. In summary the MoU will guarantee consistent supply, good quality and good price.”
CAVA II is currently working on signing more MoUs with other large factories in bid to increase the income of rural farmers.