A group of cassava farmers in Northern Ghana who were struggling to produce high enough yields to feed their family, have seen their farms flourish under the CAVA project.
The Vanakpor Farmers' Association, located at Dzolokpuita in the Ho municipality of the Volta Region, Ghana, has 15 members. Before the C:AVA intervention they were deeply rooted in traditional methods of farming, good agronomic practices were not observed, and planting of low-yielding local planting materials was the norm.
The Associates for Sustainable Rural Development (ASRuD), a rural development organisation in Ghana, began to support the group with help from C:AVA in 2009. The cassava farmers were given training in the business of cassava farming, and entrepreneurship development, and more women were encouraged to get involved. They were also trained in good agronomic practices, good farm management practices, and relationship building. They were then linked to input dealers and the HQCF processor 'Marbet Enterprise'.
C:AVA supplied the Vanakpor farmers with 25 bundles of improved cassava planting materials, and after coppicing the plants they now have 20 acres of cassava. Already they have sold 1500 GHcedi ($US 1,056.34) of high quality fresh cassava roots to the processor Marbet Enterprise. They set and met a target of multiplying the planting materials to cover 50 acres in 2011
Now, the group is taking steps to acquire their own 'wet mash' press to enable them to produce the HQCF themselves, and ASRuD have located a buyer for them. If this is successful, this group will be the first to sign a contract with the Adaklu Bakery established by ASRuD, under the agreement that the bakery will increase the percentage of the cassava flour in their bread from 10% - 20%+ HQCF.
Furthermore, the Vanakpor farmers have been linked with the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Ho Branch, where both group and individual savings accounts have been opened for them with the intent that credit shall be made available to them in due course.