The overall objective of the project is to enable the development and commercialisation of good quality and competitive cassava products in a manner that significantly improves the economic welfare of the stakeholders, particularly the small-scale farmers and processors of the targeted countries. Phase I of the project (implemented between 2003 and 2007) successfully identified market opportunities for the development and promotion of primary cassava derivative products, especially High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), as tradable commodities in the region. In addition, phase I identified novel cassava processing technologies that are suitable for rural conditions. The current phase II project aims at providing the needed catalyst to stimulate private sector investment, including credit institutions, in the sector by establishing profitable two-step HQCF pilot supply chains in each of the three project countries. The project will serve as a model for investment in HQCF enterprises by local entrepreneurs and business community across Eastern and Southern Africa. At the end of the project, it is expected that the operations of established pilot units will have reached the level of self-sufficiency and economic sustainability for all stakeholders along the cassava value chain, including producers, processors and consumers.
With technical assistance by the project, several private investors have by now invested in either commercial production of cassava or processing facilities. However, so far only in Tanzania a commercial bakery is now seriously considering in installation of equipment to process cassava flour that is marketable for urban mass markets. This bakery will also be the first licensee of a project led, commercially designed, cassava flour consumer brand for the High Quality Cassava Flour retail end market. Initial target are sales of 10 tons of HQCF per month. If successful this will be the final step towards a credible and sustainable establishment of cassava as a locally produced competitor to imported wheat flour.