Cassava growing for food security in Kenya

May 31, 2012

Trip to a cassava factory

Bag of cassva from mill factory visited
Bag of cassva from mill factory visited

Dear Friends,

My community is extremely grateful for the purchase of the mill to grind cassava to make food staples.  The income of our community has increased greatly.  I am not through though.  My goal is to keep working to help my community to be as prosperous as possible.  It is in that vein that I relay the information below.

Dr. Joseph Kamau (a cassava expert from the Ministry of Agriculture) told the PATHWAYS scholars a story at the PATHWAYS annual meeting in 2008.  It was a story of a Nigerian who came to Kenya and lacked cassava gari- Nigeria’s staple food.  The Nigerian man decided to hire a small plot of land and started growing cassavas.  Later, he purchased a bigger plot of land and grow more cassava.   Thereafter, he started a small processing plant to add value to the cassavas that he was producing. Recently, he put up even another factory.  He mainly exports cassava products to foreign markets.  It is amazing that he is the only person doing that in the greater Eastern Africa region.  In Dr. Kamau's words, " he is minting money."

I have always desired to expose our community to such an experience so that at least they know what the cassavas that they are growing can be processed into. When I was on a long university vacation in January, I decided to go to the Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters to seek assistance. After 5 visits, I was introduced to one – Dr. Martha  Sila. She is the National head of the Root – crops Division. I absolutely narrated to her the story of our project, the support of PATHWAYS, of you, the Global Giving community and our objectives. She was impressed. She agreed to sponsor us to visit the Nigerian’s factories, as I had requested. I was pushing for 100 community members to participate, but she limited the number to 60 because they wanted to see only one bus used.

The 60 participants were selected as a perfect representative of the community:  women, men, youth, middle-aged and the aged. They visited last month. They went to the 2 factories. One is at Kasikeu, in the interior of Sultan Hamud and the other is at the lower end of  the Makueni  County. This is a 8 – hour one way journey from our area. All the expenses of the exposure tour were catered for.

The community members  were very excited and motivated. They were more than elated for experiencing what they could only imagine before.  Please see the photos of the trip.

Thank you for your continued support- you are changing lives for the better!


Community members gathering for visit
Community members gathering for visit
Community members viewing cassava factory
Community members viewing cassava factory



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Project Leader

Angie Gust

PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress
Lilburn, GA Kenya

Where is this project located?

Map of Cassava growing for food security in Kenya