Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed immensely to Agricultural Development in Africa. This foundation is one of the biggest funder of Agricultural Development Projects in Africa. Many projects have been established through this foundation and have transformed the livelihood of rural farmers and helped improve their farm productivity through their various approaches and programmes. One of the Projects that is helping to transform Africa’s Agriculture is C:AVA.
C:AVA simply means, Cassava Adding Value for Africa. This project initially started in 2008 with the aims of developing value chains for HQCF (High Quality Cassava Flour), giving useful recommendation to governments and agencies involved in agriculture and boosting the income of local farmers. These cut across five African Countries; Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. This project has produced significant result in Nigeria’s Agriculture. C:AVA has their office at Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun state Nigeria.
Nigeria Government in an effort to reduce wheat import bill valued at N 635 billion in 2013 has mandated all Master Bakers to include High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in their daily production. This approach has boosted local Cassava production and farmers’ lives are getting better.
Phase Two of C:AVA project called C:AVA II was recently launched at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday 22, April, 2014. The project director is Dr Kolawole Adebayo. The CAVA II aims to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers and community processors through participation in profitable and sustainable value-added cassava chains in five sub-Saharan African Countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi).
“CAVA II project will span for five years (2014-2019) with the premise that if new markets for cassava can be developed and smallholders linked to them at scale, then farmers will increase their incomes and adopt new productivity enhancing technologies” Dr. Adebayo said.
“The C:AVA project will contribute to Nigeria’s Cassava Transformation Agenda. Cassava Transformation Agenda is developed with a view to commercialize the cassava industry in five different value chains; which are High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), Cassava Chips, Cassava Starch, and Ethanol/Glucose Syrup” Dr Akinwumi Adesina disclosed during his speech at the launching ceremony for C:AVA II.