Out of the realistic annual demand of over 200,000 Metric Tons (MT) of starch, only 66,000 MT of cassava are processed commercially mostly for production of packaged traditional foods. This demand gap presents enormous economic opportunity for smallholder cassava farmers. However, the utilization and marketing of cassava has been a challenge over the years.
By 2020, the total latent demand for cassava for industrial use was estimated to grow to about 1.6 million MT per year, accounting for both domestic demand from Ghanaian industries and regional demand from other ECOWAS markets. Ghana imports $200million of cassava flour and ethanol every year. Currently, the Government of Ghana has initiated a 10-point industrialization agenda including One District One Factory (1D1F).
The 1D1F initiative is expected to facilitate the creation of between 7,000 to 15,000 jobs per district and between 1.5 million and 3.2 million jobs nationwide by end of 2020; increase agricultural and manufacturing output, reduce reliance on imports and increase food availability. It aims to achieve this through a massive private sector led nationwide industrialization drive, which will equip and empower communities to utilize their local resources in manufacturing products that are in high demand both locally and internationally. The mission of the programme is to identify and create business opportunities in the districts, harnessing the strengths and resources of the locals in an efficient technology and demand driven value chain.
There is a vigorous national cassava industrialization drive by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) for establishment of over 11 large scale cassava processing factories in Ghana through Public-Private-Partnership arrangement. MOTI signed a $400million Chinese facility to support 22 companies under the programme; 11 out of which are cassava processing. Key among them are Amantin Cassava Starch Processing, SPAM AGRO, and SC Technologies all owned by an industrialist/Entrepreneur, Mr. William Oppong Bio. The industrialist is investing over $85million in CAPEX to establish cassava processing factories in Brong Ahafo, Volta, and Ashanti regions to meet part of its off-taker agreement of 500,000 MT of cassava starch (2.5million tons fresh cassava). Additionally, Caltech has also received funding to expand its ethanol processing facility in the Volta region.
These companies have total demand of over 1.4million tons of cassava annually. The challenge faced by these entrepreneurs include: (1) weak capacity of middle management personnel to manage complex farming system; (2) farmer mobilization; (3) limited use of improved planting materials; (4) lack of farmer knowledge on fertilizer blend required for crop-soil management; (5) low yields; (6) limited access to mechanization; (7) high post-harvest losses and (8) inadequate knowledge and adherence to quality assurance and quality control protocols. It is against this backdrop that Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is partnering with the Ghana Cassava Industrialization Partnership Project (GCIPP) consortium to catalyze and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation in Ghana by contributing to Government’s strategic framework for Agriculture and strengthening the Agricultural sector delivery systems for improved productivity with a goal of doubling incomes for smallholder farmers.
GCIPP is a two-year AGRA funded market-driven agricultural transformation programme that aims to increase incomes and improve household food security through consistent supply and processing of cassava for both industrial and commercial uses. The programme seeks to deliver inclusive multi-disciplinary interventions through a consortium of 5 partners providing market, agro-inputs business solutions, market information systems and technical training and Farmer Based Organization (FBO) strengthening.
The 5 key partners are; Ari-Impact Consult (AIC), a value chain management institution and lead implementer, Ohumpong Investments Limited and JOSMA Agro-Industries (primary processors, planting materials suppliers and lead aggregators), CSIR-FRI (capacity building and compliance to quality assurance and quality control for value addition through processing), Ghana Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Platform (policy advocacy and market development organization) and Food Research Institute (FRI) will leverage their varied expertise to achieve project goals in conjunction with other key collaborators such as MOTI and MOFA.
The programme intended to achieve the following objectives:
• To enhance productivity of 110,000 smallholder farmers to cultivate 110,000ha of cassava farm, increase yield from 12tons/ha to 24tons/ha and produce at least 1.8million tons of fresh cassava • To increase and improve primary processing to reduce post-harvest losses by 50% and cost of supply • To develop a comprehensive digital database of cassava farmers and value chain actors
• To increase capacity of smallholders farming households and agricultural system to better prepare for and adapt to shocks and stresses • To facilitate affordable financing and non-financial incentives to smoothen value chain activities
AIC specific activities for the entire 2 years project is to look at the following
• Build capacity of middle level value chain managers for managing complex farming system • Mobilize farmers and provide technical and business management training
• Monitor and report progress of implementation to AGRA.
• Collate and ensure prompt submission of technical and financial reports to AGRA
• Support community sensitization among beneficiaries, District Assemblies and other stakeholders
• Document lessons learnt and best practices • Facilitate structured market and structured financing for the actors
• Foster linkages with other relevant services providers such as mechanization, crop insurance, financing and input supply AIC Facilitated access to $2.5 credit under TIAST project for initiate Trust limited