Cassava is a significant contributor to Africa’s GDP and its production supports the livelihoods of several millions of people in the West and Central African (WCA) region, often rural women and youth.
Funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) - and implemented by NRI, FUNAAB and SNV - the Increasing Performance of the Cassava Industry (IPCI) in West and Central Africa (WCA) project aims to enable poor people (especially women and youth) living in rural areas to develop sustainable cassava-based farm and non-farm business opportunities and also to enhance the performance of IFAD-funded national root and tuber projects in West and Central Africa.
IPCI’s approach has been developed around five work packages that are designed to achieve the planned purposes and outputs of the project. These are:
- Work package 1: Support to IFAD projects in the WCA region.
- Work package 2: Create a knowledge base of successful technologies and best practice interventions.
- Work package 3: Support to private sector – creating demand for small-holder produced cassava.
- Work package 4: Wide dissemination of best practice guides and knowledge products.
- Work package 5: Project management, monitoring and evaluation.
Activities of the IPCI Project are focused on Nigeria, Ghana, DR Congo, Cameroon, Benin and the Republic of Congo. These activities are expected to primarily target poor smallholder farmers in rural areas and their processing/marketing organizations, along with the other actors of the cassava value-chain (semi-industrial and industrial processors, traders and service providers etc.). Where appropriate, this project will also target rural institutions, which directly or indirectly, provide technical/commercial/logistic support to cassava processors in selected countries. Issues of gender and diversity will be a primary concern for the project since traditional cassava processing is often carried out by women and the youth.
In Ghana, the project focuses attention on the Asueyi gari-processing enclave, where a 350kW capacity IFAD funded gasification plant has been installed. The plant is designed to run on dry biomass such as fuelwood, crop residue or a combination of both. The major biomass feedstock to the plant will be the cassava peel and other discarded cassava plant parts generated from farms within the Asueyi catchment area. It is projected that the plant will require 43.75kg of biomass per hour and 350kg of biomass per day (8-hours) at optimum operations. Heat, which will be generated by the plant, will be used in the roasting stage of the gari production process.
By leveraging its inclusive business approach and renewable energy expertise, SNV under this project provides demand driven technical support to beneficiaries in the areas of gasifier operational needs, market development needs, management capacity gaps and best practice cassava farming techniques. It is expected that the support being offered will help to achieve significant income generating and employment opportunities at the household and community levels, through an expansion in the activities of the small scale processing enterprises being operated at the site. This is in line with the Global Cassava Development Strategy vision of making cassava one of the drivers of rural poverty reduction.