This project will bring economic independence for 100 local farmers and their families, including women and children, in six villages in Uyo, Nigeria. The cassava and palm processing machines will increase the farmers' revenue by reducing waste due to decay and maximizing harvest used or sold to market. We will leverage strong partnerships for additional in-kind technical support and knowledge transfer and build on existing structures to ensure active community participation and sustainability.
Over 90% of Akwa Ibom State residents use processed cassava and palm oil as major ingredients in staple cooked meals. However, local farmers and their families spend up to 50 hrs hand processing or they sell their unprocessed cassava and palm fruit in local markets at very little margins or travel about 100 miles to urban centers to process their harvest. Bad roads and irregular transport means 50% of harvest is wasted - decaying from heat in the fields or attacked by pests due to poor storage.
69% of 112 our local needs assessment respondents said unemployment and poverty were the most pressing issues. This project will employ local youth to build, install and operate the processing machines. It will reduce the physical labor, waste and time impact of farming; and empower women and others who want to participate. Existing farmers can expand their production of cassava and palm fruit as profit margins increase and new revenue is generated from a wider market for processed products.
This project will boost the income of 100 farmers and their families as products will be sold wholesale within and outside the state. Larger profits will be used to address specific community needs for education and health such as providing teaching aids and playground for children, a center for ICT and other vocational skills for teens and young adults. Completing the project will lead to enhanced group social esteem and bond community leaders and members, providing a forum for collaboration.