Thursday, 25 August 2016

Cassava has greatly improved our household livelihoods, the Awuco family in Uganda

The Cassava: Adding Value for Africa Phase Two (CAVA II) Project supports value addition in cassava and commercialisation of cassava in Africa. In Uganda, the CAVA II project has successfully developed value chains for High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) by supporting investors to establish HQCF processing sites in Eastern, Northern and Central Uganda. The project beneficiaries include among others, small holder farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises and selected actors working on cassava value chains.
CAVA II’s purpose is to increase the incomes of 23,010 Small Holder Framers (SHFs) and community processors through participation in profitable and sustainable value added cassava chains in Uganda and is being implemented in 18 districts of Pallisa, Kibuku, Budaka, Bukedea, Kumi, Soroti, Ngora, Serere, Dokolo, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Lira, Apac, Otuke,Oyam, Kole and Alebtong. The project is also being implemented in 4 other African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, and Malawi.
The Awuco family, 77-year-old Victor and 57-year-old Phoebe Awuco, cassava farmers of Alito sub county in Kole District, Northern Uganda are enjoying the benefits of investing in value addition of the cassava crop and have recently constructed an underground water tank from earnings they saved from cassava production. The couple has been travelling a distance of 2 Kilo meters to fetch water for use during the processing of cassava.
They delightfully shared their moment of bliss of their new innovation We spent nearly 1 million Uganda Shillings of our savings from cassava to construct this water tank and we are contented with this new development for we no longer have to walk many kilo meters to get water with which to wash the fresh cassava roots, as well as rinse and soak the roots before processing them to obtain HQCC and flour. The water for all this is now right in our back yard” (Both smile) Mr. Awuco then adds “It has not been a smooth road but we have managed, my wife is very supportive in each step of the way

Blessed with 3 children of their own and 8 grandchildren, the Awuco family is greatly benefiting from farming cassava and has also realised the benefits of conducting business in cassava processing following the successes that have come along with this. The couple’s first achievement from cassava farming and processing was a motorcycle they purchased back in 2014. The motorcycle has since eased their transportation challenges to easily access the market where they sell their cassava flour, and also purchase other household requirements like food stuffs.
The Awuco’s have also been able to finance the education of their grandchildren to as far as university level through cassava farming “Cassava has greatly improved our household livelihoods. We are able to buy food, cater for medical expenses and also take our grandchildren to school. Our eldest grandson has been admitted to Kyambogo University this year 2016 to study electrical engineering. This is great for us as a family” Mr. Awuco recounts.
The couple has been farming cassava for 3 years and in May 2016 this season, they set up a 1acre demonstration garden of the Narocass1 cassava seed variety. They have been growing the Nase14 cassava variety since 2013. The couple is also a member of Alito Cassava Farmer Growers Association and Community Processing Group (CPG) that is supported by AfrII under the CAVA II project. The Alito cassava processing site was commissioned in 2014 by the Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII) at the commencement of the second phase of the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II) project.
The Awuco’s acknowledged CAVA II Uganda for the support extended ‘We are grateful to CAVA II for their contribution and also appreciate the work they are extending to us at the community through the CAVA II project in as far as providing us access to new technologies aimed to promote cassava production”

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