The cassava farmers of Liberia, under the National Cassava Sector Coordinating Committee (NCSCC), have been assured of two major cassava markets in the country.
National Coordinator of the NCSCC, Mr. Joseph S. Morris, said in an interview that his organization is in discussions with the World Food Program (WFP) and Mary Meal for the inclusion of cassava value added products in the menu of their institutions for their respective school feeding programs.
He said consensus has been built between the NCSCC and the two organizations to promote local produce.
“The European Union has agreed to support the cassava data collection exercise in three counties, Montserrado, Margibi and Bong,” he said.
Mr. Morris indicated that the information will facilitate the making of informed decisions for investment in the Liberia cassava industry.
The data collection exercise will be jointly carried out by the NCSCC, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Liberia Institute for Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).
The NCSCC Coordinator said the strategy that is being implemented by his organization is sponsored by the European Union (EU) through ZOA/ADRA to encourage the promotion and consumption of local cassava value added products on the Liberian market.
“The NCSCC has successfully organized producers, processors and marketers for cassava value added products on the local market and provides training for these stake holders with the monthly technical working group meeting that is held every third Friday in the month at the Ministry of Agriculture in Gardnersville,” he said.
The objective is to meet the economic development and poverty reduction goal of farmers in rural areas.
“The cassava value added products are showcased in the Liberian Market Place adjacent the Ministry of Education on 3rd Street, Sinkor, where the public can visit to assess and taste new cassava value added products,” he said.
Morris noted that the cassava value added market is supported by a team of Liberian cassava processors and caterers who use fresh cassava to process a variety of food items from cassava.