REGIONAL AGENCY FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
AGENCE RÉGIONALE POUR L'AGRICULTURE ET L'ALIMENTATION
AGÊNCIA REGIONAL DA AGRICULTURA E ALIMENTAÇÃO
Improving food related behavior on value added cassava products
Cassava in Liberia is the second most important food crop (this after rice) and there is wide range of products and recipes that can be processed out of raw cassava. However, this potential appears largely untapped in Liberia. This project aims at optimizing the production, processing, marketing and consumption of cassava in targeted communities.
In addition to the utilization of value added cassava products, the project also promotes increased production and consumption of fruits and vegetables so as to improve the dietary intake of nutritious food among participating communities.
To enhance the understanding of participating communities on dietary diversification, the project perused vigorous community level sensitization campaigns on good nutrition including cooking demonstrations using various recipes of cassava, fruits and vegetables. Radio educational programs are being used to scale up the nutrition awareness campaigns.
Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) have been established in all project communities to enable beneficiaries save and have access to affordable credit expand their farms and also buy nutritious food.
Improve the food and nutrition situation of targeted beneficiaries in Liberia.
- Enhanced capacity of targeted to access nutritious food ;
- Enhanced capacity of the targeted beneficiaries to sustainably produce and process food.
- Three months radio campaigns to promote balanced dietary consumption of fruits, vegetables and value added cassava products was conducted in the two participating counties reaching out to an estimated number of 30,000 people;
- Community level nutrition awareness campaigns were carried out in communities reaching many people;
- A radio jingle on good nutrition was developed and played on radio for three months in Margibi and Grand Cape Mount Counties as part of radio campaign education program;
- Farmers benefitted from training on improved methods of cassava production which has improved farmers yield from the baseline of 5-6 metric tonnes per hectare to 13-15 metric tonnes;.
- Farmers were trained on vegetable and fruits production;
- Many demonstration farms on improved methods of cassava, vegetable and fruit production were established in communities to train farmers in their respective project communities;
- Farmers received cash support to procure cassava planting materials to establish a minimum of 1 acre each with the improved methods introduced. Similarly farmers have been reimbursed for vegetable and fruits seeds planted within the project period;
- Communities project received motorized stainless steel cassava graters to scale up the processing capacity of fresh cassava.
- Project groups have been linked with buyers to sell their produce.
- Storage structures have been provided in 3 needy communities to enhance the safety of processed cassava meant for market.
- Beneficiaries received training on preparation of various recipes of cassava to improve upon the consumption of more cassava products
- Village Savings and Loans Associations were established in all the project communities. This has offered opportunity for beneficiaries to save from their income and also have access to credit for investment
Specific Impacts on Women, Children and Youth :
- The project is changing lives in project communities. The improved method of cassava production introduced has been adopted by project beneficiaries as well as farmers leaving in the communities. These methods have significantly increased farmers yield by two to threefold.
- Comments from farmers show that the improved methods introduced require less planting materials and relatively easier to manage. Thus farmers are spending less on farm maintenance with resulting higher incomes.
- Women, who constitute 60% of project beneficiaries have increased their processing capacity from less than 100kg weekly through manual grating to 400 -500kg due to the availability of motorized graters. Weekly earnings from cassava processing have increased from average of $10 to $30. Women, through the project have increased the weekly earnings from the processing of fresh cassava from less than $10 to $30. Beneficiaries are able to enroll and maintain their children in school as result of increased income from the production and processing of cassava.
- Participation in the VSLAs has been very commendable. All the groups established have initiated a second savings mobilization cycle from their own resources after completing the share out. In some communities, new VSLAs are being established by other community members as a result of impact made in the lives of project beneficiaries.
- Families are consuming more of value added cassava products, fruits and vegetables as a result of the awareness created on dietary diversification and recipe demonstration.*
Beneficiaries of the projects :
target beneficiaries of this project are;
- Households in 21 cassava processing communities who are being supported directly in the production, processing of cassava, vegetables and fruits;
- People living in and around the 21 participating communities reached with nutrition awareness messages and recipe and cooking demonstrations to promote dietary diversification;
- People reached with similar nutrition awareness messages on the promotion of dietary diversification through radio education programs.