This Page is a work in progress as the village is still working with the NGO ASRuD to organise in what form and with which participants the project will be established in Abutia - Kloe. Please refer to the blog for updates.
There are two main objectives of KY-SA involving Abutia -Kole in the C:AVA project.
1) To improve the incomes of poor farmers in the village as low incomes is the primary reason for high school dropout rates.
2) Through donations KY-SA wants to purchase a $400 press that is needed to produce a high quality cassava flour, the NGO will provide training and help link the the village with markets to sell its high value product. Revenues generated from ownership of this asset will help fund KY-SA's goals.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided a grant to the University of Greenwich to research and provide high yielding cassava varieties that are suited to African conditions. For example some of the most efficient rural farms in Ghana can achieve yields of tonnes per acre whereas the new varieties can achieve 30 tonnes.
The foundation also works with other partners to provide rural farmers with the services they need to start framing these new varieties. A new cassava plant can regrow from sections of the stem that are replanted into the ground. These sticks f the new varieties will be provided to the farmers participating in the program free of charge.
Farming best practices will also be taught to farmer groups, ranging from the correct spacing of plantings, inter-cropping with nitrogen fixing plants and the efficient use of agrichemicals and weeding. All of this is again free of charge.
The NGO that KY-SA has chosen to work with in implementation of this project is also focused on providing the farmers with the organisational and business skills necessary to take full advantage of this program and increase cash income for the village.
There is a large and growing market for high quality cassava flour and the NGO will help the farmers access this market. For instance there is a factory outside Ho called CalTech that has a large contract to produce cassava flour based pharmaceutical products for a Brazilian company. There is also a large push to produce bread from cassava flour in Africa to reduce the current account burden on African countries that have to import large quantities of wheat for their bread. This is a potentially massive market.
Provided the village has the necessary equipment the NGO will also provide training on the specific techniques required to produce the high quality cassava flour. Abutia - Kole is only lacking a $400 press and KY-SA hopes to be able to purchase this press through donor help in order to be accepted into the flour production project. Ownership of this asset will provide KY-SA with substantial revenues in order to fund its goals.
2/07/2010 KY-SA is delighted to announce that the funding and sourcing of a press crucial to the C:AVA project has been successful. Below KY-SA members are pictured with the new press that has been sourced with the assistance of ASRuD.