C:AVA Malawi identified three village processing groups (VPGs) of CMRTE from Zomba, Old Maula from Nkhata Bay, Tiyamike Green Belt from Mulanje and four processing entrepreneurs from Nkhotakota to kick start the HQCF value chain in 2009. Each group received a grater powered by diesel engine and hydraulic press with 50 ton jack from C:AVA with the exception of four entrepreneurs from Nkhotakota who got their equipment from FAO that included a hammer mill.
None of the groups had processed HQCF until C:AVA conducted training on processing, quality management and end user trials. The groups started producing HQCF in August 2010 and by end of the dry season (processing season) in November, they had processed 18.6 tons.
A strategy was designed around empowering members of VPGs to market their HQCF to rural end users through providing training on marketing. All processing groups and entrepreneurs were invited to a marketing training workshop which was facilitated the C:AVA BDA.
A couple of years ago farmers from the village of Nkhotakota in Malawi were struggling to make a living from growing cassava, and previous interventions were not suitable to their needs. This also left the processors of cassava based products disillusioned and disgruntled.
When the C:AVA Project started working with the group at the end of 2009, the entrepreneurs were able to start processing seriously. C:AVA's approach was radically different in that the focus was on rural markets, rather than the 'big city' manufacturers. C:AVA emphasised to the processors that the market for HQCF is with rural bakers and manadazi makers who use wheat flour.