Cassava is an important staple crop in Tanzania, making a valuable contribution to food security. While processing and commercial use of cassava does not have a strong tradition in this country, there have been a number of recent initiatives exploring the potential for adding value to this crop in Tanzania.
A key issue that emerges is the importance of encouraging appropriate processing enterprises that can provide both a consistent demand for cassava to producers and sufficient quality and quantity of supply to potential end users.
From a situation where there was little or no HQCF processing in the country, C:AVA has facilitated the development of a value chain involving 18 processing groups, and intermediary and food processing end users. However, aware of the low beneficiary numbers we will implement a cost effective and sustainable exit strategy.
The current market demand is estimated at ~420 t/annum. This market (primarily in Dar Es Salaam) was initially predominantly from one buyer with a total current demand of about 250t /annum, but, by September 2010, however, a second buyer was identified, who wished to purchase 10t /month. There is additional rural retail demand of about 4 t/ month. The high quality product being delivered is now attracting interest from other large scale end users.
The 18 processing groups in Tanzania have the capacity to produce HQCF using sun-drying technology. C:AVA linked these processors with end-users through an intermediary that is successfully aggregating and transporting HQCF to Dar es Salaam.
The immediate challenge in Tanzania is to assist processing groups to become sustainable and reach demonstrated demand without jeopardising the quality of the product and hence the market.
C:AVA, and MVIWATA (Mtandao wa Vikundi Vya Wakulima), facilitated the formation of a network for processors and market workers. The network serves as focal collective marketing point where all marketing activities are coordinated.
The linkages between SMEs and the intermediaries supplying HQCF were strengthened at the Dar es Salaam end of the market while at the same time the interaction between SMEs/Intermediaries and village-based HQCF processors was also improved at the Mtwara end of the value chain. The processors' network holds monthly meetings which are also attended by SME/intermediaries. This has provided a platform for the discussion of issues that are of interest to both parties. A business meeting was held in February 2012 between representatives of the network, service providers and biscuit industry (Bake Food International) in Dar es Salaam. The objective of the meeting was to discuss issues related to HQCF quality, price and quantities delivered to the factory.
We are currently undertaking a country-wide assessment for market opportunities beyond HQCF. The fieldwork will be completed by the end of April, 2013. Initial findings indicate potential markets for maize substitution with a dried cassava product (not HQCF) in the animal feed industry, especially for poultry. In addition, wheat substitution opportunities have been identified for biscuit manufacturers in Mwanza. Discussions have been held as part of the marketing study with four plant breeders in Tanzania who are interested in the opportunity to breed for specific end users.
C:AVA Vision of success in Tanzania
By November 2013 more than 850 farmers, processors and employees linked to 18 cassava processing groups will benefit directly by about $65/annum from selling 149 t HQCF/ annum.