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CTA’s Central African cassava project to benefit 10,000 smallholder farmers

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) has launched a new project in Kinshasa to explore cassava’s economic potential in agricultural value chains in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Cameroon

The project was launched in association with the Regional Platform for Central African Producers Organisations (PROPAC) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

According to CTA, a number of 10 cassava cooperatives will be targeted with a total membership of about 10,000 smallholder farmers. Through the new project, CTA aims to increase income, enhance food security and create new employment opportunities for women and youth in the region.

As cassava plays an important role in achieving food security in the region, it has the potential to create innovative and sustainable business models for the local agro-food industries.

CTA’s cassava project is expected to accelerate innovative and new business models, which will promote added-value activities at the regional level. With the initial start in DRC and Cameroon for two years, the project is set to include more smallholder farmers’ cooperatives across Central Africa.

Vincent Fautrel, senior programme coordinator at CTA, said, “This new project will seek to build entrepreneurial capacity among cooperative leaders and managers and to drive greater efficiencies and new job opportunities.”

The groundwork for the project was laid at the regional forum on cassava in Cameroon in December 2016, which identified local innovations to improve the economic performance of cooperatives around cassava value chains.