Wednesday, 21 September 2016


A growing interest in the use of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) by the breweries, bakery and in local dishes calls for skill development of the existing and potential actors in the cassava value chain.
New value added products awareness field trip which was undertaken in last year by the Business Development Expert and the Lead Regional Coordinator showed an interest by traditional processors, new and potential cassava processors in the new products and its processing technology.
As a result, the country team together with AAWID, a service provider in the Wechi and Techiman Metropolis, organized a workshop for thirty nine (39) interested participants, comprising of 4 male and 35 female. These participants were community processing groups and five SMEs in the area. The processing groups were AyegbeGari Processors, Tromeso Processors, Buoku Processors, Srapukrom Processors, Mangoase Processors, Papa So Aba Processors, NnipaHiaMmoa Processors, Amponsakrom Processors, Asubingya Processors, Wurompo Cassava Processors. The SMEs included Mighty & Hope, Evergreen Business and Amya Agro Plus.

Standing from left: Mr. Francis K.F. Aidoo (BDE), Mr. Gregory Komlaga (Dept. CM) and Mr. HayfordOfori
The purpose of the workshop was in two folds: technical and business perspective. From the technical perspective, it was aimed at providing a practical skill in the production process of High Quality Cassava Flour as well as theoretical understanding of the evolution of HQCF in order to strengthen their capacity in production. From the business lens, acquiring and understanding technical knowledge in itself would not ensure success, therefore the aim was developing the processors and investors entrepreneurial skills in the world of work of cassava value chain so that they would be able to embrace challenges in the chain and enhance their business performance. 
Mr. Gregory Komlaga, Assistant Country Manager and Technical Expert for CAVA II Ghana, took the participants through the production process of High Quality Cassava Flour. This included harvesting, weighing, peeling, washing, sorting, grating, pressing, disintegrating, drying, milling, bagging and storage. He emphasized on the various drying methods including sun-drying, solar drying, mechanical drying and flash drying technology. Practically, the drying method used for the training was sun drying, however, he advocated for a shift to the use of flash drying technology as it is more efficient and economical for large scale processing.

First from right Mr. Gregory Komlaga, Technical Expert for CAVA II training processors in HQCF
Participants were also trained in‘Business/Entrepreneurial skills-Starting a Cassava (HQCF, IGCF, HQCCF) Business’ by the CAVA II Ghana Business Development Expert; Mr. Francis K. F. Aidoo. Participants learnt entrepreneurial traits, idea generation, HQCF business requirements; demand, supply and money factors, how to ensure HQCF business success, and reasons for new venture failure (HQCF).The approach to the business seminar was more of participants’self-assessment and resource identification as a cassava value chain entrepreneur with reference to successful agribusiness entrepreneurs in Ghana and West Africa. 
Each participant was asked to assess him or herself to identify potential talents and skills that would make them successful. Participants were given the opportunity to ask and respond to questions relevant to each stage of the presentation as well as the value chain. On the sideline, Mr. Samuel Nyamekye, the Lead Regional Coordinator for the region provided agronomic practices to the farmer processors and encouraged the farmers and the SMEs to adopt them to maximize their yield per hectare. 
The Business Development Expert together with the Lead Regional Coordinator, M&E Expert and District Agriculture Extension Officer shared experiences with the participants and addressed questions raised. Participants’ questions bothered on markets, finance and management of the new value chains amongst others.

Mr. Francis K. F. Aidoo giving entrepreneurship presentation/business skills to processors

At the end of the workshop, the participants expressed gratitude to the CAVA II team for the new skills they have acquired and gave the assurance that they would add the HQCF to their product lines. Those who were already in the business were hopeful to leverage on the training to up scale HQCF and other new value added products and those who were yet to commence businesses were very optimistic and expressed their readiness to start operations. Mr. Daniel Ammissah, expressed the group’s heartfelt gratitude for the continuous support CAVA II has been giving to them and testify the impacts on their economic well-being. “We have seen appreciable output in our production and income over the years since we joined CAVA II and hope to continue to enjoy from this partnership” he said.

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