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.
These groups were formed and facilitated by the District Councils plus other non-government institutions targeting mostly women with various objectives, however none of these initiatives were taking the value chain approach.
Very few processing groups took the cassava processing activity as a business enterprise, most groups were processing for home consumption. The field survey by the C:AVA project in June 2009 showed that 18 processing groups had the potential of scaling up.
During two years of implementing the value chain approach with the processing groups and other cassava stakeholders in Masasi, Newala, Tandahimba and Mtwara rural District, the C:AVA project facilitated linkages between the market actors. The cassava growers were linked to processing groups, the processing groups to the intermediary and the intermediary groups to the end users (food processors). Among the food processors are VML global Tanzania Limited, Power foods and KALMON enterprises, both in Dar es Salaam.
Now the HQCF produced by community processing groups through C:AVA is not only for household consumption, it is also an income-generating product. More than 800 cassava farmers and 300 processors are benefiting from the C:AVA HQCF value chain. Furthermore, there are 22 non-project cassava processing groups that have gained strength in processing and are now looking towards C:AVA to link with markets.
Similarly, because of these initiatives and the awareness created on the use of HQCF as industrial raw material as well as in confectionery in the country, some other cassava processing groups in the coastal region have been supplying HQCF to a biscuit manufacturer in Dar es Salaam since November 2010.