Cassava producers in Sackie Town and its nearby communities in Todee District, rural Montserrado, in the past struggled to market their raw cassava tubers. Farmers many times found it difficult to transport their produce at the Red-light Commercial district as fares are high and retailers usually buy commodities at low prices, which limits the farmers’ income.
With the existence of the Korkarleh cassava processing hub, farmers in the district now have the opportunity to sell their cassava and earn a better profit.
The facility, which is equipped with various cassava processing equipment, was constructed in January 2018 by EDUCARE, with funding from the United States African Development Fund (USADF).
The initiative is aimed at creating processing opportunities for farmers to increase income and improve food security.
The co-chair for the Kokarleh Assistance Program Farmers’ Cooperative Society, Rhoda Paye, told the Daily Observer recently that cassava producers in Todee are extremely happy for the opportunity provided by their partners.
She said that more than five farming communities in the district are accessing the center.
“The farmers in our town and nearby communities are no longer traveling to the city center, like the Red-light market, to sell their cassava because of the existence of the ‘Kokarleh Processing Hub.’ We buy more than five 50 kg bags of cassava from farmers at reasonable prices and process them daily,” she said.
Rhoda said they intend to buy more cassava from farmers but that the capacity of the mill is limited.
“We can buy huge quantities of cassava, provided the capacity of the mill is upgraded. ‘FALAMA INC.’ has promised to assist us upgrade our processing activity, and we’re hoping that such commitment can come to fruition,” she said.
She stated that the center produces various kinds of cassava products for the market.
According to Rhoda, her organization has cultivated over 30 acres of cassava, which they expect to harvest soon, adding that proceeds from the harvest will be used to empower members of the organization.
“We are calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to assist us with additional inputs, like tools, to enhance our farming activity. Also, water source is another constraint facing our facility and which we have asked our partners to address,” she said.
Harris S. Gono, a cassava producer, said that they were thankful to their partners for the establishment of the facility, adding that it is helping to greatly improve their income.
“We are encouraged to produce more cassava to supply the facility because they buy the crop at good prices. This is helping us to raise more income and support our families,” he said.