Cassava is an important tuber crop in Ghana contributing about 22% of agricultural GDP. Its production has increased by 15.6% from nearly 16 million MT in 2013 to 18.5 million MT in 2017. Private sector investment in industrial processing of cassava into starch, high quality cassava flour (HQCF), chips, and ethanol has increased in recent years has generated increased demand for the crop nationwide beyond traditional food uses.
It is estimated that about 1.6 million MT of cassava will be required for industrial processing per annum by 2020. Building capacities of processors to satisfy food safety and trade standards is critical to sustain and drive the entire industrial from the level of subsistence to active commerce. To this end, over 40 cassava processors (cottage to commercial business operators) were trained by experts from Food Research Institute, Food and Drugs Authority and Ghana Standards Authority in a day’s workshop organized by Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) under the Ghana Cassava Industrialization Partnership Project (GCIPP).
The GCIPP project is a two-year AGRA funded project that aims to catalyze and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation in Ghana to increase incomes and improve household food security through consistent supply and processing of cassava for both industrial and food uses. GCIPP is being implemented by Agri-Impact Consult, Food Research Institute, Crop Research Institute, Ohumpong Investment Limited, JOSMA Agro Processing Limited, MOTI and Ghana Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Platform (GICSP) in the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Ashanti, Eastern, Volta and Central Regions.
The specific objectives and key outputs are summarized below:
· 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
· Increase and improve primary processing to reduce post-harvest losses by 50% and cost of supply
· Develop a comprehensive digital database of cassava farmers and value chain actors
· Increased capacity of smallholders farming households and agricultural system to better prepared for and adapt to shocks and stresses
· Facilitate affordable financing and non-financial incentives to smoothen value chain activities
· 270million cassava cuttings (20cm long /cutting) distributed to farmers
· 110,000, smallholder farmers cultivating 110,000 hectares of cassava
· 1.8million tons of fresh cassava roots harvested annually
· 1.3 million cassava roots processed annually
· $1,600 generated each per annum from their 1hectare farms.
· Additional 10,000 farmers supported with technical skills and linked to the market
The project seeks to deliver inclusive multi-disciplinary interventions through a consortium of 7 partners providing market access, agro-inputs business solutions, market information systems and technical training and FBO strengthening. The 7 key partners are; Agri-Impact Consult (value chain management institution and lead implementer), Ohumpong Investments Limited and JOSMA Agro-Industries (primary processors, planting materials suppliers and lead aggregators), Food Research Institute – C:AVA (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)Council for Scientific and Industrial Research–Crop Research Institute will supply cuttings of improved varieties high yielding in starch and train farmers on GAP; and Ministry of Trade and Industry will spearhead the development of a national cassava strategy plan and facilitate access to both domestic and export market. GCIPP is expected to work with 110,00 smallholders’ farmers, double current yields of 12 tons per hectare and reduce postharvest losses by 50%
Under the project, Agri-impact consult targets to mobilize over 40,00 smallholder cassava farmers as output growers to supply industrial grade cassava to Amantin Agro processing limited (AAPCL) which has invested in a 1,200 ton per day fresh cassava processing capacity at Atebubu-Amantin and prang starch production. With farmer Mobilization Still on-going, over 20,000 farmers mobilized have committed around 5,000 acres for cultivation in 2020 planting season.