By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
The National Cassava Sector Coordinating Committee of Liberia (NCSCC) has embarked on a one-year media promotion under the theme, “Lifting Cassava Through Value Addition” across the country.
The NCSCC promotion seeks to encourage the consumption of cassava as well as increase the market for the sale of cassava and its products. The NCSCC is implementing the cassava component of a European Union funded project that is implemented through ZOA/ADRA.
Speaking with this paper yesterday, the National Coordinator of the private-public partnership, Joseph Morris said the promotion is aimed at showcasing the different cassava value added products to include bread, cake, flour and chips.
Mr. Morris said the addition of cassava as Liberia’s second staple food is that lots of food can be made from the produce besides fufu while its value chain depends on its production, processing and marketing strategy.
He said the NCSCC’s intervention into the cassava sector began one year ago which enabled it to work with partners in the sector through which farmers were trained on how to carry out new methods of cassava planting to increase their yield.
He said from the traditional 5 to 10 tons, farmers began producing 25 to 30 tons per hector while the processing aspect witnessed the new technologies resulting into varieties of products and explained how the marketing strategy had also helped processors to package their final produce well.
The NCSCC National Coordinator said this marketing strategy has showcased products in supermarkets in the country and currently has some of the cassava products at the Liberia Market Place in Sinkor.
Mr. Morris also encouraged farmers to learn to eat their produce as well because in as much as the sale is important to the objective of the promotion, eating some will also elevate the marketing strategy and encourage food competition and at the same time deviate from the appetite of most Liberians whose tendency is to eat only rice.