As a result of business trainings conducted by the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII) among Community Processing Groups (CPGs) in 2014 under its ‘Cassava: Adding Value for Africa’ (CAVA II) project, some groups have successfully utilised key internal resource mobilisation skills in the development of their internal capacity for production.
Agency for Food Security Network (AFOSEN), CPG of Apac Sub-county, Apac District in northern Uganda, a recently established processing site was able to construct a large storage facility for their cassava products, as a result of a consistent saving scheme adopted by the entire group and improved lobbying skills attained from business trainings from AfrII. The group was able to sell their business plan to development partners such as ISSD, which financially supported the completion of the structure.
According to Molly, a group member, the group had been beset with poor storage facilities for their products, which they blame for negatively affecting the safety and quality of their HQCC as well as causing limitations in access to markets. As a result, the group agreed on a plan of action to mitigate the challenge by committing to a monthly saving programme.
Through their intense efforts, by December 2014, the walls of the storage facilities stood strong, requiring only a roof and doors in order to become usable. The group is excited about their achievements and is hopeful for a change in the tide for the marketability of their products in the near future. AFOSEN is but one of the groups that has undertaken safer and planned financial management methods of operation to promote their success as a business entity. Other groups have taken the alternative route of individually participating in Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in order to amass and access credit for the improvement of daily operations. The Popular Knowledge Women’s Initiative (P’KWI), a CPG in Eastern Uganda is one of the implementers of such a scheme, which has enabled the groups to finance a number of businesses including construction work, processing and transportation as well as the bakery business.
CAVA II seeks to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers (SHFs) and community processors through participation in profitable and sustainable value-added cassava chains.