VECO East Africa is proud to announce an official collaboration with the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII), in a bid to jointly develop the emerging cassava industry in Uganda. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Professor George William Otim-Nape, the Chairman AfrII and Ms. Denise Lapoutre, the VECO EA Regional Representative, witnessed by Mr. Francis Alacho, Country Manager of the CAVA II project in Uganda.
The new partnership links back to VECO's Sustainable Food & Income Security Programme and is based on a mutual interest of both parties to ensure that there is a sustainable development of inclusive cassava value chains in Uganda, while remaining relevant to the needs of SHFs, processors and end users.
VECO EA and AfrII have agreed to work together to enhance each others capacity in the areas of cassava processing, value addition, quality assurance, market linkages, business/investment models, product development, equipment fabrication and linkage to financial institutions.
AfrII will provide technical support to VECO EA’s beneficiary Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) and Community Processing Groups (CPGs), particularly Kameke ACE and Nankoma ACE, in the processing of High Quality Cassava Chips and Grits (HQCC/G). They will offer training to the farmers and develop their skills on establishing drying technologies, quality assurance mechanisms, successful business models and standards certification.
VECO EA on the other hand will strengthen the Institute’s ability to support cassava processing equipment fabricators and cassava drying constructors to develop and pilot artificial drying technology for cassava processing.
Both parties intend to utilise the available Ugandan, regional and international markets to enable the farmers to generate and increase their household incomes in order to align with the Uganda government’s plan to improve the household incomes especially of SHFs and women through the production of a commercial crop.
The aim of CAVA II in Uganda by 2019 is to create an annual demand for 69,030 tons of fresh cassava roots from smallholder farmers. Incomes from sale of fresh roots and processing by smallholders will generate at least USD 4.5 million/year for rural communities.