CAVA has been implementing activities in Mtwara, Tanzania since 2009, and in that time cassava flour processed by community processing groups has found its way to the supermarkets in the capital, Dar Es Salaam, for the first time in history.
Cassava processing initiatives in Tanzania date back to 2003. 8 processing groups were recorded in 2004, and by 2010 this grew to 150. The cassava situation analysis carried out by the C:AVA project in January 2009 revealed that 72 groups (48%) of the existing groups were in Mtwara Region.
"We the Mkombozi Processing group recognise C:AVA project as our sole social and economic facilitator, C:AVA has been a mentor and a good link on our cassava processing activities. Now we can see some light in this economic path---". This was said to the Country manager and the Business Development Advisor in January, 2011 in a group discussion with the processing group. The question was how the group sees how it has progressed within the time of C:AVA project implementation.
Mkombozi processing group is located at Msijute village 16km from Mtwara town in southern Tanzania. The group was established in June 2009 with 20 active members, 60% being women. The group is one of C:AVA's 18 initial pilot groups in the Mtwara Region.
Before joining C:AVA the group had limited processing skills and no processing equipment. They were not focused on any crop specific agricultural extension services. With limited business skills, they did not know how to process high quality cassava flour (HQCF).