Cassava factory

Brown line

CassavaIn other to meet the increased demand for convenient and affordable traditional food of traditional origin as well as to exploit the local and urban markets, RWF improved the processing techniques of cassava to meet changing urban preferences for packaged traditional foods. The need to add value to cassava in the rural communities and also increase income of women, RWF carried out one of its activities Enterprise planning and Management (EPM). This project is in line with the USAID Market -oriented Project in its Agricultural Sector which IITA implemented through the Rural Sector Enhancement Program (RUSEP). The project was aimed at enhancing the capacity of the women small holder farmers and vulnerable groups to respond to the opportunities in the domestic market. Women are the primary and most knowledgeable producers of food but their access to improved processing technology is often biased. In most cases, the men tend to hijack post harvest technologies, particularly those that are labour saving and serve as stable source of income. Improving the income of women implies providing improved processing technology that will enable them generate income for themselves and their households. The cassava factory located at Umuekechi village at Asa North Community in Ukwa West Local Government Area in Abia State targeted the development of the rural women group called Asa North Women Cooperative Society to enhance their income and improve their social well being.

RWF collaborated with the RUSEP project at IITA Ibadan and the Abia State ADP in the transfer of improved cassava varieties to Women farmers in Ukwa West LGA. These Women farmers had earlier been mobilised by the Foundation and basic production skills had been imparted to them through group training since 1999. However, with the introduction of improved cassava and plantain hybrids, there was also a need to add value to the anticipated increased output from these high yielding commodities to enable the women take advantage of market opportunities especially in the Aba and Port Harcourt urban markets located less than 40 Km from the project area.

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