Scientists at the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII) and Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) in Kampala have agreed that locally produced High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) can be successfully used to brew highly competitive beer. Talks with the management of the popular brewery in Uganda yielded these great results for the AfrII's cassava programme, which is promoting the uptake of locally made HQCF into local high end markets within Uganda through its Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II) project.
According to Mr. Edward Katorobo, the Head of Manufacturing Support & Governance at UBL, the company is open to the possibility of exploring cassava flour in its production line. He said, “After 5 months of working with aggregators, we have developed 2 beer brands using cassava flour, and we are in the process of monitoring their success.”
Speaking to a 15-strong delegation from the CAVA II Directorate in FUNAAB Nigeria and the Uganda Office in AfrII, Mr. Katorobo expressed willingness to work with AfrII to further develop their product line on condition that the team works on the existing challenges being faced by the company in terms of the insufficient quantity and quality of cassava flour they are currently receiving from small holder farmers and aggregators, who do not have sufficient knowledge in managing quality.
The CAVA II team assured the UBL team of AfrII’s extensive work with over 10 Community Processing Groups (CPGs), which has so far seen 2 CPGs close to being certified by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS). The Country Manager, Francis Alacho emphasized that efforts are being made to build the capacity of more farmers in eastern, central and northern Uganda to utilize the best cassava varieties and processes to produce HQCF, a highly competitive brand of flour being promoted for use, not only by industries in Uganda but in other African countries including Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana and Tanzania.
Mr. Alacho further elaborated on AfrII’s ability to work with the current stakeholders of the brewery including their CPGs and aggregators to strengthen their capabilities at every end of the value chain, thus improving the quality of the HQCF they supply to the company. He said, “If you link us with your aggregators, we can be able to train them in management of UNBS quality standards aspects.”
The meeting was attended by members of the CAVA II Directorate team from FUNAAB, who were hosted by AfrII from the 20th to 21st November 2014 for a project learning and experience sharing visit. The team, which comprised of Dr. Kolawole Adebayo-Project Director, Dr. Bosola Oladeinde-Deputy Project Director, Dr. Ola Ogunyinka-Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation Expert, Mr. Alexander Thompson-Financial Controller, Mr. Ayoade Adetoye-Investment Promotion Assistant
and Ms. Uche Uduma-Communication Assistant had an opportunity to learn about the achievements of the Institute in achieving the project targets for 2014, and lauded CAVA II Uganda for its marked progress against the projected milestones for the second phase of the project.
Phase two of CAVA in Uganda intends by March 2019 to create an annual demand for 69,030 tons of fresh cassava roots from small holder farmers by increasing smallholder farmers’ cassava productivity, expanding and developing cassava processing and expanding cassava product options, market opportunities and geographies.