Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava. Private investments in the Nigerian cassava sector stimulated by the presidential initiative on cassava in 2007 raised HQCF production to an estimated 40,000t. However, this demand collapsed for a variety of reasons including changes at the political level and low sales levels at the start of the C:AVA project.
Many of the investors held stocks through to 2009, but over 63,000t of this stock were sold through the President of the Nigerian Cassava Processors and Marketers Association (NICAPMA) after about 18 months of C:AVA intervention in advocacy for HQCF, including positive engagement with various end-users. This resulted in alternative markets in the national and export food markets.
C:AVA, in addition to restarting the value chain, is:
• Providing leadership in the development of a document and supporting data for the HQCF value chain that formed part of the National Cassava Transformation Programme.
• As part of the new Cassava Transformation Programme, the Federal Government of Nigeria requested the C:AVA Team to train a set of 12 engineers and 6 economists on the engineering and technical aspects of assessing the 127 SMEs owning flash dryers in Nigeria to help the Government access national capacity to deliver HQCF into flour mills and contribute to the nation's Cassava Transformation Agenda.
• The retrofit of four of the existing flash dryers in Nigeria also produced excellent results. An increase in drying efficiency from 32% to 41%, and an increase in throughput from 768 kg of dried flour per 8-hour day to 1,105 kg/day were attained. This represents a 28% increase in efficiency, and a 44% increase in throughput. On a 220-day operational year, at 8 hours per day, the site energy savings with current fuel prices would be almost 1.5 million Naira per year. Throughput savings are hard to quantify but obviously are a major gain.
• A new model of flash dryer meeting international standards (202kg per hour throughput and overall efficiency of 49%) has been designed and fabricated by Nobex Technical Company in Nigeria with the mentoring support of C:AVA engineering consultants, and sold to Universal Industries in Malawi to kick-start the artificial drying value chain for HQCF in Malawi. The new model dryer offers significant improvements over the four upgraded units in Nigeria, it is intended that future upgrades will include these additional improvements to further improve cost efficiency of drying operations.
C:AVA strategy for Nigeria in 2011 to 2013 is to stabilise end-use of HQCF and increase the efficiency of flash drying, which will reduce the costs of diesel by up to 50% and double throughput per dryer. This will make HQCF even more competitive and further increase market opportunities. By reducing the cost of flash drying (and thus stabilising the price of HQCF) and by helping to sustain a more consistent market for HQCF, C:AVA will create a market for a great number of beneficiaries.
The major activities will be to continue market promotion activities and promote the uptake of flash dryer retrofits. To do this, C:AVA will work with three flash dryer fabricators in Nigeria to retrofit the first four dryers, and then a series of open days will be conducted to showcase the key achievements of this intervention to current owners of dryers that are operating under capacity or are not operational.
The product focus includes all cassava products processed by flash drying (i.e. HQCF, instant fufu and starch in some locations). Partnerships will be strengthened with the three fabricators and the Nigerian Cassava Processors and marketers Association (NICAPMA).
C:AVA Vision of success in Nigeria
By April 2013, 32,130 farmers, processors and factory employees of ~20 cassava processing factories will each benefit directly by ~$127 per annum.