Raw material supply for processing High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) and other cassava products was one of the major challenges identified by the project in Malawi. Initiatives were made by the country office to ensure availability of fresh cassava roots to the processing plants. CAVA II Malawi received additional support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to facilitate distribution of initial seed stock of improved varieties to smallholder farmers for multiplication. The farmers were strategically grouped into clusters which were positioned to supply fresh roots to nearby processing plants. In the first year of project implementation, a number of smallholder farmers registered as seed multipliers and one of such is Mr Patrick Kaliwo.
Mr Kaliwo is a secondary school teacher based in Nasawa, Zomba. He has 4 children, 3 in secondary school and 1 in a private university. Previously Mr Kaliwo was a tobacco farmer who opted to quit tobacco farming due to the enormous labour and input requirement. He received 2 varieties (Sauti and Sagonja) for seed multiplication. He planted the seed to an acre of land in February 2015. His field was one of the best fields in his cluster because he was able to apply all the agronomic practices that he learned through the capacity building programs offered by CAVA II.
In December 2015, Mr Kaliwo harvested over 300 bundles of cassava seed, he sold 256 bundles at K1000 each and realized K256,000 (about $427) and he used the rest to plant to a new field. He also harvested aboput 5000 kilograms of fresh roots of which 4977 kgs was sold to Universal industries at K40/kg and realized K199,080 (about $332) He used the rest for home consumption. Mr Kaliwo indicated that this is the first time he has made so much money from that piece of land and expressed his gratitude to CAVA II project for being one of the beneficiaries of the seed multiplication program. He said his household income has increased tremendously and that will help him to pay school fees for his children and improve his standard of life. This year Mr Kaliwo has increased the land planted to cassava from 1 acre to 1 hectare.