Phoebe Amucu proudly mounted on her bike with gaiety as she showed off her new bike. The farmer who is also a member of Alito Community Processing Group (CPG) is one of the few farmers who are beginning to enjoy the benefits of investing in value addition of cassava.
Phoebe is one of the first members of the group to realise the benefits of conducting business in cassava processing. When Alito processing site was commissioned in 2014 by the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII) at the commencement of the second phase of the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II) project, Phoebe was very excited about the new innovation, which not only meant that she could be employed and provide a stable income for her family, but also gave her an opportunity to operate machinery that women from her region are not traditionally allowed to handle.
After the initial training, she committed herself to every role that was assigned to her at the processing site. Phoebe made sure that she saved as much of her little earnings as possible while providing daily meals and other needs for her husband and children. As excited as Phoebe was to be working in the same group as her husband, she longed to make her own earnings. She wished she could be able to gain independence and the free will to develop in areas where she felt most attracted to.
The CAVA II team constantly monitored and supported Phoebe and her team with necessary information, trainings and linkages to markets through aggregators, thus increasing her hope in the successfulness of the business that she had willingly joined. Within three months of the successful production and supply of High Quality Cassava Chips (HQCC) to recommended aggregators and other markets suggested by group members and AfrII, Phoebe was able to purchase a motorcycle, which had been her dream means of easing her transportation challenges.
Phoebe and her team are re-invigorated by this success and are more convinced of the benefits of investing in the cassava value chain. Alito CPG as one of the most promising processing groups in the northern region continues to scale up its operation methods and requires linkages to sources of finance to further boost its business potential.
CAVA II seeks to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers (SHFs) and community processors through participation in profitable and sustainable value-added cassava chains.
Credit: Nancy Nandudu