Cassava Project in Western Kenya
This Gorta Self Help Africa Project is expected to increase food security, nutrition and income among 12,000 smallholder households, specifically a 50% increase in disposable income of target farmers and access for households to sufficient food.
Kenyan cassava production increased from 323,389 tons in 2010 to 935,732 tons in 2012. The potential production is over 2million metric tons per annum yet average yields remain low: around 12.7 metric tons/hectare, compared with potential yields of 50 metric tons/ha. In Kenya, cassava is commonly exchanged as either non-processed fresh cassava or processed (peeled, dried and cut into chips and/or milled into flour and used for confectionary products sold locally). In Homa Bay, Busia, Kisumu and Siaya, 4kg of fresh cassava (equal to 3 large tubers) can be processed into 1kg of chips/flour sold at an average of 50-70ksh. The cost to process 4kg of fresh cassava is 3-5ksh. The average sale price for 1kg of fresh cassava is 15ksh. Of cassava farmers sampled in 2015, only 15% engaged in cassava sales (whether as raw tubers or processed into confectionary) with the majority producing purely for household usage. The price of cassava chips in the four study areas ranges between 20-30ksh/kg depending on the season.
This project aims to enable 12,000 farmers (including 6,500 women) in Western Kenya, organised in four farmer-owned cooperatives, to increase cassava production and incomes through meeting current and emerging demand for high-quality cassava products.
Facilitating the availability of quality-declared cassava planting material.
GSHA will consult district-based extension officers to identify and select 130 farmers to be cassava stem producers. 130 seed producers will be registered with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), who will monitor production and certify stems as high-quality and disease-free as appropriate. SHA will train seed producers on stem production, soil fertility, field management, pest and disease control, harvesting and post-harvesting handling, processing and storage.
Facilitate cassava production and capacity development for farmers
GSHA and MALF will facilitate the selection of 600 Lead Farmers to be trained as trainers. Lead Farmers disseminate this training to 12,000 smallholders (at least 55% women), organised into 300 producer groups, each with approximately 40 members and two Lead Farmers per group. GSHA will work with Lead Farmers to establish demonstration plots for each group which act as a ‘farmer field school’. Lead Farmers will be trained to adapt their knowledge dissemination in line with farmers’ risk management strategies, farm size, existing knowledge and previous experience of cassava. will focus on production, field management, pest and disease control, harvesting and post-harvest handling, processing and storage. Farmers will be trained on farming as a business; including farm planning, market planning, enterprise profitability, cashflow analysis, quality standards, group production, aggregation and value-addition.
Develop cooperatives to take up cassava marketing and business development
SHA will support the formation and registration of 4 farmer cooperatives. Co-ops enable farmers to bulk their produce, reduce input costs and provide marketing and training channels. Bulking production allows farmers to supply buyers who want a consistent supply (such as industrial-scale processors) and who prefer to deal with one cooperative rather than multiple individual farmers.