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Siera Grass-roots Agency (SIGA)

Cassava Processing and Marketing
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FIGHTING POVERTY IN SIERRA LEONE                                               

Promoting the Production, Processing and Marketing of Cassava as a Business

SUMMARY

Introduction                                 

1.This project is primarily designed to help fight poverty in Sierra Leone which according to the UN Human Development Report (2006)  is 70.3% below the national poverty line of less than 1$ per capita per day. .On this basis of classification, alone, Sierra Leone, inspite of its natural wealth, is the poorest country in the world. Sierra Leone has performed worst than all other countries by several other UN indicators. For example,  Sierra Leone has the lowest life expectancy(40.6 years);lowest GDP per capita($202);highest child mortality rate; highest maternal mortality rate .These are vital statistics which are contributing to Sierra  Leone being rated 176th out of 177 countries on the UN Human Development Index (2006). It should also be noted that Sierra Leone has been at the bottom  of the UN Scale consistently for over 10 years. At this level of performance, life can be said to be intolerable in Sierra Leone.Thus,  fighting poverty in Sierra Leone is  of prime national and international concern  as the Government Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper(PRSP) and the UN  Millenium Development Goals(MDG) show.This pervasive poverty in Sierra Leone has been precipitated largely by the  civil  war but there is much left to be desired by the Government, the International Community and the people of Sierra Leone to successfully fight against the poverty.Cassava is the second most important food crop after rice in Sierra Leone but recent international developments and the production advantages of cassava over rice, for example, have made cassava a viable cash crop for poor subsistence farmers  and a means to fight poverty in the country..

Background

2.Cassava, which few decades ago was a subsistence food for the poor and animals in the topics has grown to be a crop of high demand for food in several African countries but it is now also for its use on industrial scale that cassava production and processing are now commercialized in many countries So in addition to providing. food for locals, cassava products are being exported to earn foreign exchange for poor exporting countries.Added to these, its relative ease of production; very high yields; ability to stay underground after maturity for  long periods give cassava considerable advantage as a commodity that is being used by poor rural folks in Sierra Leone, to fight poverty.

3.Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a perennial root crop, which, serves as a staple food for more than 500 million people worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africa produces more than 85 million MT of cassava yearly—about half of global production. That amount is about double sub-Saharan Africa’s production of maize and almost triple its combined production of sorghum and millet. Cultivated in every sub-Saharan Africa country, cassava is an especially important food crop in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Ghana, Mozambique, Uganda, Madagascar, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Benin, and Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry.

4.In Sierra Leone ,The Ministry of Agriculture  reports that in 2004, 134,404 hectares of cassava were grown in the country at an average yield of 13.1 MT/ha giving a total production of 1,759,252 tons .However more conservative figures previously show that there are about 400,000 hectares of cassava  and a yield average of 5.2 MT/ha. Cassava varieties grown are mainly local cultivars although there now exists a major variety improvement program run by the National Research Institute.  Commercialization of cassava in Sierra Leone, involves mainly processing it into Gari and Fufu, which are major food commodities in the countries mentioned above.  Nigeria is the leading producer and biggest market in Africa but it has to import to meet its food needs. Sierra Leone has considerable surplus and it would seem that much of the crop produced can be processed into exportable material.

5.At the international level, cassava and cassava products are utilized in the production of cassava flour and cassava leaves for human and animal feed; the production of starch and in several industrial uses, such as ethanol (bio-fuel), confectionary, sweeteners, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, bio-degradable materials, plywood, paper and textile

6.Based on the 2004 figures, Moyamba district out of the total 14 districts contributes about 10% of the cassava that is produced annually in Sierra Leone...It is estimated that about one-third is consumed on the farm and   one-third is currently being processed into gari and, fufu for the local market.Thus about  1/3rd is available for other needs locally and internationally.In Sierra Leone, cassava is now more than a food crop; it is now the main cash crop in many communities.

Vision

7..Cassava as one of  the most important  vehicles in the Agricultural Sector  successfully  fights against poverty in Sierra Leone. and improves the welfare of the people.

Project Objectives

8.To achieve the above goal, this project will adopt two main objectives;  

(i)                  to assist the small-holder cassava farmers to improve on their production  and make them more competitive in the burgeoning international cassava business;

(ii)                to assist the cassava farmers or associations of farmers to process and market their produce more profitably

 

Project Structure/Implementation

 

9.In the implementation of the project,.t he NGO, SIGA, will select and organize  14 promising cassava producing associations to represent the 14 chiefdoms in Moyamba district where possible. .They will be each organized to operate as a profit making organization with executives They will be given introductory course on cassava production which will enable them to improve on their current level of production.They will also be trained in the use of improved processing equipment and facilities for gari production and  marketing.. There will be on the average 60 members of each association including women and men while at the same time giving prominent positions to women in the management of the business. .In addition to each association of 60 members additional numbers of cassava farmers in neighboring and satellite villages will also benefit from the services offered by the project equipment as non-association members but will also be required to pay for the services rendered by the equipment such as – cassava grating; dehydrating; patching into gari; storage; transportation and marketing  opportunities.

These equipment will drastically  reduce the time and labour spent on these activities but

will vastly increase the output, quality and profitability.

10.The NGO- SIGA will be responsible for  not only organizing the farmers but for training farmers; coordinating the activities in each of the chiefdoms; assisting them in the procurement of equipment;  their use and the development and use of processing floors and stores and to ensure that good quality  gari is produced at all times by the associations. SIGA will assist the  associations to establish  reliable marketing channels for the associations  in the whole district.. With increasing capital and profit, these associations will guarantee additional associations to register and participate in the business so that gari production and marketing in Moyamba district enters the international market in a major way. Finally cassava producers in Moyamba district will diversify their cassava business into the production of higher valued commodities such as flour; cassava leaves into animal and human feed; starch  and cassava chips the prospects for the production of cassava ethanol. Success with this program will be one of the most readily available means of diversifying the opportunities of rural people, raising their income levels and pull them out of  poverty.

Associations will repay the equipment cost as loan over a three year period.The store, drying floor and the extension service will be treated as part of extension support and not treated as loan

.         ..

 

11..The Paramount Chiefs and the local administrative authorities  may play advisory roles in the management of the project but are not involved in decision making .At the level of the Government, the Moyamba District Council integrates  this and all other development projects into a district development  plan. and ensures that the project is monitored and  progressreported to donors.

 

 

Project  Beneficiaries

..

 

12.Target Beneficiaries..

                              Direct Beneficiaries -120/chiefdom                 1,680      14 chiefdoms.

                              Indirect                     - 720/chiefdom           10,080

     

                               Indirect traders and others                               500

                               Outreach Farmers @ 500 per chiefdom      7,000

                                                                 Total                         19,260

 

The project will also assist a similar number of other farmer associations/cooperatives in the district through the delivery of extension service and soliciting loans for investment.

Summary  Budget

13.Summary  Project Budget

Expenditure

                                                                       Total                Donor            Beneficiaries

                                                                     Le. 000,000

              

     Production/Processing’Equipment           4737.6               3274.6                 1472.8

      Cost of  10 ton truck for marketing          100.0                 100.0                        -

      Extension Service                                     466.5                 466.5                        -

 

                      Total for 14 Associations       5304.1                3374.6                 1474.0 

                                                    US$       1,790.110            1,138.910           497,470

  Exchange  Rate         1US$ = Le. 2,963                                                                                    

                                     

 

                                                                                    

Expected Gross Income  - 3 year program for one Association

                                                  Year 1                      Year 2                   Year 3

Acres

              Association Farm              50                             50                          50

               Project Farmers             312                            400                        450

               Outreach Farmers          300                            400                        450

 

(Cassava yield = 2.5 tons/acre; 100kg fresh cassava = 1 – 65kg gari bag)

1 bag gari  Freetown price  ..Le. 50,000.0

Bags of Gari per season

                 Association Farm         1,250                          1,250                      1,250

                 Project Farmers            7,500                          10,000                    11,250

                 Outreach Farmers         7,500                         10,000                     11,250      

 

                             TOTAL            16,250                        21,250                   21,250

 Gross Income @Le.50,000/bag  812,500,000           1,062,500,000         1,187,500,00 Total 14 Associations       Le,     11,375,000,000      14,875,000,000        16,625,000,000

 

                                      US$            3,839,010          5,020,240                      5,610,867

                        -

 Exchange Rate   1US$     =Le.2,963                   

Sustainability

14.  Sustainability and Business Development potential is good.

 

(i)Demand for Cassava and Cassava Products. The use of cassava is not limited to gari for food but it can also be processed into fufu, flour, conversion of the leaves(about 17% protein) for human and animal consumption. Cassava flour can be blended with wheat flour for the production of bread containing 10% cassava flour. Cassava ethanol and starch have high international demand The current demand for gari in West Africa  is not being met by the local processing methods. Nigeria which is the highest producer of cassava in Africa cannot meet its needs for gari. There is a huge market for gari in Diaspora for Africans.

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(ii)Production cost for cassava is low and well adapted to the socio-economic conditions of the Sierra Leone farmer .Processing cassava significantly increases its profitability. Equipment for the processing of cassava into gari are now produced locally and manufacturers train farmers in the use of their equipment.

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(iii)The estimated current production of cassava assumed in this project is 2.5T/AC but under the improved conditions to be introduced by the project under the supervision of SIGA, yields of 8-10T/AC by the utilization of new and improved varieties and improving on cultivation practices. This will more than treble the gross output for the same acreage of 5AC per farmer.

(iv)There are about 40,000 farmers in Moyamba district and it is therefore possible to expand production from the one association per chiefdom to  more than 10 associations per chiefdom and therefore increase gari production from;

21,000 bags ( 65kg ) per 1 association per chiefdom to 210,000bags per season for 10 associations. Total production for the 14 chiefdoms will be 2,940,000 bags which at the  district level production. @le.50,000 per bag will yield Le.147,000,000,000(US$ 49,000,000).Of course if processing factories are setup for the production of higher valued commodities like ethanol; starch and flour, the income that will be generated will be considerably more than this. This kind of income will quickly change the social and economic face of the district. Keeping the membership of each association at 60, then expanding production by10 associations per chiefdom will engage 8,400 farmers in the district. Since cassava production in Moyamba district is 10% the national  cassava production, there is enormous potential to expand the business to other districts in the country. This level of economic activity will be sustainable and will help eliminate poverty in the rural areas .

  

 

12 of the donors, the Le.918,000,000 could be ploughed into support for the  AFYID. It could also be expected that the Moyamba District Council would be in the position to provide  a subvention for AFYID.  and make it a permanent institution.  

 

Monitoring and Evaluation.                                       

12. The Board of Trustees will setup a technical sub-committee that will monitor and evaluate the project. The subcommittee will be composed of persons with technical background in the key areas of activity –viz; skills training; food security; micro-finance ; women and children affairs and project management. The membership of the sub-committee may be drawn from outside the Board of Trustees. The team will use as guideline the bench marks that are set in the plan of implementation.

Project targets will be pursued; record of meetings, major activities; input supplied and how utilized and other project bench marks and impact of the project on the beneficiaries and the community at large. The beneficiaries will be trained to be aware of these information and others to be able to monitor progress individually but also as groups. The AFYID management and the supervisors will make monthly monitoring assessment of the project activities. At the higher and integrated level, SIGA will lead a team of evaluators including the technical sub-committee every 6 months from the start of the project. They will examine previous monitoring reports against progress made and also evaluate performance against the plan of implementation. The SIGA Accountant will prepare monthly balance sheet of expenditure and present it during the 6-monthly evaluation meeting of beneficiaries; AFYID management; the technical sub-committee and SIGA.  for discussion and recommendations.

. Monitoring and Evaluation.                                       

The Executive of the Association will setup a technical sub-committee that will monitor and evaluate the project together with the SIGA project officer. The membership of the sub-committee may be drawn from outside the Membership of the Association. The team will use as guideline the bench marks that are set in the plan of implementation.

Project targets will be pursued; record of meetings, major activities; input supplied and how utilized and other project bench marks and impact of the project on the beneficiaries and the community at large. The beneficiaries will be trained to be aware of these information and others to be able to monitor progress individually but also as groups. The Executive will make monthly monitoring assessment of the project activities. At the higher and integrated level, SIGA will lead a team of evaluators including the technical sub-committee every 6 months from the start of the project. They will examine previous monitoring reports against progress made and also evaluate performance against the plan of implementation. The SIGA Accountant will prepare monthly balance sheet of expenditure and present it during the 6-monthly evaluation meeting of beneficiaries; the Executive; the technical sub-committee and SIGA.  for discussion and recommendations.

 

35 Ferguson Street * Freetown, Sierra Leone West Africa

                    Tel:232- 25-276034                              Mobile: 232 -76-603491