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The Head of Roots, Tubers and Banana at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Lawrence Kent has commended Cassava: Adding Value for Africa, Project, (CAVA II) for creating sustainable businesses in cassava value chains across Africa.
Mr Kent who spoke during a courtesy visit to CAVA II Project Directorate Office in Abeokuta, Nigeria, said that the project, which aims to increase the incomes of at least 200,000 value chain actors, especially smallholder farmers and processors in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi, is creating sustainable businesses which will continue to multiply after the project ends.
He said, “Looking at the project’s projections, we were sceptical about its cost effectiveness, considering the large number of people it targets. However, it is a long term project of which the effect will continue to multiply in subsequent years. It is creating businesses that are sustainable.”
Mr Kent also observed that 70 percent of cassava production, goes into traditional value chains, hence the need for the foundation to improve the technology used in traditional value chains. In order to add value to cassava, there is a need to develop new technologies for the traditional value chains. For me, I am interested in the technologies; we need to bring something new, we need to create new technologies for gari processing in order to improve cassava processing.”
In his remarks, the Project Director of CAVA II project, Prof Kolawole Adebayo reaffirmed the project’s commitment to improve the incomes of farmers and processors in cassava value chains in the five countries where CAVA II operates, while emphasising that one of the project’s remarkable inputs is improving the burning efficiency of flash dryers used by cassava processors.