TANZANIA – Tanzania has unveiled plans of introducing a platform that will connect cassava farmers with processor both at the local and international levels as it seeks to improve productivity.

According to Mr Edwin Rutageruka, Director General Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade), the platform will work, is expected to work under TanTrade and will target processors from the world market especially in China, reports Daily News.

“The main goal of the association will be to improve production of cassava as well as value addition for stem tubers in order to penetrate the world market,” he said.

The association will facilitate training for cassava farmers and processors on agronomic practices,” he said.

The platform comes as a reinforcement to the stakeholders’ call for a collaborative approach towards exploring the limits presented by the commodity and addressing the challenges facing cassava sector in the country.

Cassava has continued to be a major commodity in the Tanzania’s food basket reflected by the increasing demand despite the country’s annual production level remaining constant at 6.8 million tonnes.

In the recent past, the country has recorded remarkable efforts in beefing up investments in the cassava value chain as part of the economy diversification strategy.

Tanzania is also set to commission a Cassava Starch of Tanzania Corporation (CSTC) processing plant with a capacity to process 60 tonnes of cassava on a daily basis.

Additionally, increased demand for cassava in the world has also encouraged more investments in the East African country with a number of Chinese companies eying to setting up cassava processing plants in Tanzania.

Among them include, Epoch Agriculture, Foshang Guangji Co. Ltd and Dar Canton Co. Ltd. Regions.

Tanzania is the twelfth largest producer of cassava crop in the world and the sixth after Nigeria, DRC, Ghana, Angola and Mozambique in Africa.

Between 2006 and 2012, Tanzania exported a total of 59,447,754 tonnes of cassava was produced and sold abroad with the sub-sector currently employing more than 1.2 million small holder farmers across the country.

According to Cision, the global cassava processing market grew at compound annual growth rate of around 2.1% between 2010-2017 reaching production volumes of around 284.9 Million Tons in 2017.

Africa, Latin America and Asia were the major contributors to the ubsector.