Kigali, Rwanda – The Kinazi Cassava Plant (KCP), Dutch Agricultural Development & Trading Company (DADTCO) and IFDC Rwanda are proud to announce their intended partnership, aiming to develop new markets for farmers and strengthening the cassava value chain in Rwanda.
The Kinazi Cassava Plant was commissioned by the Rwandan government in 2012 to add value to the large and growing cassava production in the country. Since then, the cassava milling factory has been processing and distributing high-quality flour, both nationally and internationally.
DADTCO is a private sector company, established in the Netherlands in 2002, which bases its approach on the combination of private entrepreneurship with a social vision. DADTCO has developed a patented innovative “split” processing technology that is dramatically changing the way cassava is perceived, grown and processed in Africa. The company’s Autonomous Mobile Processing Units (AMPUs) process fresh cassava close to the growers, instead of transporting the highly perishable roots over long distances to a central factory.
The joint venture between KCP and DADTCO would allow new markets to be developed. A special focus will lie on cassava as an input for beer breweries (instead of sugar) and cassava as a substitute (up to 20 percent) for wheat flour in bread. Substitution of up to 20 percent of wheat flour would result in U.S. $18 million in Forex Savings while creating extra income for farmers of an estimated U.S. $5 million and U.S. $2.2 million for the cassava industry per year. Substitution of imported sugar for beer brewing would result in U.S. $3.5 million in Forex Savings while creating extra income for farmers of an estimated $1.5 million and $1.3 million for the cassava industry per year.
By introducing mobile units (AMPUs) for processing, KCP and DADTCO will be able to bring the factory to the farmer. The innovative units are capable of producing “cassava cake,” a substance that can be stored for at least six months. Normally, factories experience difficulties in ensuring an ongoing flow of raw material. Cassava is a crop that needs to be processed right away; it cannot be stored. Therefore cassava cake is a real game changer, making the factory no longer dependent on a seasonal flow of inputs and reducing transport costs as the cassava cake is already drained of water.
KCP and DADTCO will create a “guaranteed market,” which means cassava will be bought against a minimum price announced one year beforehand. If the market goes up, DADTCO also has to increase the price. However, DADTCO will never go below the minimum price. IFDC, via the CATALIST-2 project, will play a role in linking farmers with guarantees to financial institutions in order to access loans. Farmers working with the factory will be present at quality control and weighing, after which they will be paid in cash.
In addition to installing three mobile units, KCP and DADTCO will refurbish the main factory, ensuring quality standards are met and equipment is up to date and capable of processing and storing the cassava cake.
The increased demand in cassava could be easily absorbed by a production increase. Cassava yields are low and often farmers do not consider it a cash crop. By intensifying production, there is no competition with land use for other crops. For the last eight years, IFDC and its CATALIST projects have been working with the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB) on developing the cassava value chain and the capacity of small-scale farmers in the region. RAB and IFDC will contribute to the anticipated joint venture of KCP and DADTCO by continuing their support to small-scale farmers with high-quality planting materials and improved production methodologies.
IFDC’s CATALIST-2 project, “Towards Viable Clusters in Agribusiness for Famers’ Income and Food Security in the Great Lakes Region,” is funded by the Netherlands Embassy in Rwanda and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). In collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy, the project aims to reinforce the Netherlands policy on Trade and Development Cooperation by linking Dutch enterprises to Rwandan markets.
The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is a public international organization addressing critical issues such as international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency through the use of agricultural technologies including fertilizers and other inputs.
For more information about KCP, visit www.kcp.rw.
For more information about DADTCO, visit www.dadtco.nl.
For more information about IFDC and CATALIST-2, visit www.ifdc.org.
For more information about RAB, visit www.rab.gov.rw.