Two farmer groups supported by C:AVA, Tiyamike and CMRTE from the Mulanje and Zomba regions of Malawi, participated in the 2nd National Science and Technology Fair for 2012 and won the prize for best exhibition stand.
The main objectives of the fair, whose theme was 'Science and Technology: Catalyst for Industrialisation', was to give researchers, technologists and innovators an opportunity to showcase their technologies, innovations and products, and also to provide a platform for much needed interaction between practitioners, industry, private sector and the general public.
The Tiyamike and CMRTE farmer groups started to receive support from the C:AVA project in 2009 in the form of training on high quality cassava flour (HQCF) processing, quality management, product development, business management, association management, group dynamics and marketing, and processing equipment.
Both groups process HQCF using sun-drying and sell most of it to rural bakers and end users. At the fair the two groups exhibited their HQCF and products made from it, such as mandazi, bread, scones, buns as well as other cassava products, such as dried cassava leaves.
Their stand was designed to portray how HQCF could catalyse cassava commercialisation and contribute significantly to the economic development of the country through import substitution.
Based on their potential impact of the technology to the economy of the country, the quality of the product, the scientific background and the potential for benefitting many resource poor people, the C:AVA stand was rated as the best stand of the exhibition and received a trophy on the closing day.
Their success attracted inquiries into their HQCF products and prospects for export have subsequently risen.