Applying Science and Technology to Enhance , Dairy, and Maize Value Chains:    Examples

Cassava Value Chain

has developed a Cassava Value Chain Overview to provide a brief introduction to this critically important and to highlight key constraints. To provide context for those constraints, the paper begins with an overview of cassava in Africa and highlights key issues such as gender and market dynamics. The paper concludes with a description of market inefficiencies and potential technological innovations that will be the focus for the Science Team. The Cassava overview is available in the Resources box located on this page.

As described in the paper, cassava is a critically important crop in sub-Saharan Africa, because of its importance for food security but also for its potential value added market opportunities:
Cassava is a reliable and inexpensive source of carbohydrates in SSA. It is drought and disease resistant.
Cassava can be used as substitute for wheat as glue extender for plywood, animal feed, and food products for human consumption. It is highly commercialized in parts of West Africa, but less so in East Africa.
Cassava offers the potential to significantly increase smallholder farmers’ incomes; If efficiently processed, cassava is likely to gain in domestic demand and as a potential export.

Cassava has two major constraints to development of post-harvest systems:
Perishability of fresh roots within 48 hours
Processing is important because of low marketability of fresh cassava
Presence of cyanogenic compounds
If inadequately processed then cyanogenic glucosides will pose a serious health risk to consumers

Source: Meridian Institute

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