TAAT pledges support to enable private sector investment in profitab

19Oct 2018
Polycarp Machira
DODOMA
The Guardian
TAAT pledges support to enable private sector investment in profitab

THE technologies for african agriculture transformation (TAAT) has pledged technical support to enable the private sector investment in profitable cassava production and processing in the country.

The promise was made here by the Cassava TAAT compact coordinator and value chain specialist at the international institute of tropical agriculture (IITA), Dr Abass Adebayo during a three-day national stakeholder meeting.

According to the director, there is need for cassava transformation plan for the country's agriculture-led industrialization agenda, noting that the country has great potential of the crop’s production.

The meeting that brought together key stakeholders in the cassava sector from policy makers, private sector, researchers and farmers to develop a high-impact execution plan for achieving a cassava transformation in the country, Dr Adebayo  said the technologies will include processing of cassava into various value added products.

"The value added products will be of high financial returns on investments such as processing of cassava into chips, starch and flour which could be further processed to high value products such as sweeteners, adhesives, biscuits, noodles, break and cakes" added Dr Adebayo.

He said Tanzania is TAAT’s focus country because it already has a strategy for cassava development under the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP II).

On his part, ASDP II coordinator, Zakaria Muyeni said cassava is an important crop under the programme which was launched in March this year,  through a well-articulated production and processing systems, cassava markets and business development plans.

"Cassava is one of the priority commodity value chains for lake, eastern and southern zones under the one region one commodity initiative" said Muyengi.

Director general of the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Dr Geoffrey Mkamilo said the value chain programme will scale out the value chain actors proven technologies such as improving high-yielding varieties and innovative processing  techniques to transform cassava into an industrial crop.

"We must also address the challenges facing the cassava farmers in the country including lack of clean seeds of improved high yielding varieties, high postharvest losses due to limited processing and lack of markets," said Dr Mkamilo.

The workshop intends to increase awareness on the unexploited potential of cassava for food, income and an agro-industrial raw material as well as map the cassava value chain stakeholders activities in the country.

The workshop also will develop a comprehensive action plan for the implementation of TAAT cassava compact activities in the country and develop a framework for enabling policy environment for cassava transformation as draw a roadmap for development of national cassava investment plan.