Kenya: AICS and EU inaugurate small scale cassava processing plants

Kwale, 22nd March 2024 – Communities living in Matsangoni and Magodi, witnessed the handover of two cassava processing plants on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd of March, in the coastal counties of Kilifi and Kwale respectively. The infrastructure, powered by solar energy, were donated to the communities of local farmers to boost the processing of agricultural products. The plants were built through the Italian component of the Go Blue Programme, financed by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics) with the technical support of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM Bari).

The Italian component of Go Blue has carried out a series of interventions to strengthen the cassava value chain, a driving sector for the local economy: activities have included capacity development activities for the agricultural extension services of Kwale and Kilifi counties and the provision of improved varieties of cassava which have proven to be more resistant to viruses and diseases. This infrastructural intervention intends to give small farmers the possibility of accessing new markets and increasing income deriving from the sale of the processed product, which is more profitable and easier to preserve than the fresh one.  The establishment of the plants will directly benefit over 340 farmers and their families.

Marco Riccardo Rusconi, Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, said: “Today we are witnessing the fruits of a journey that began four years ago, with the launch of Go Blue in Kenya: the opening of these plants is proof that the initiative is concretely supporting smallholder farmers on the coast in creating added value on local products, through a structure that is environmentally friendly, open and inclusive”.

Ondej Simek, Charge d’affaires at the European Union Delegation to Kenya said: “These two new cassava processing plants  are a strong reminder that the blue economy is not just about the sea, it is about unleashing the economic potential of the coastal areas in a way that is sustainable,  both for the people and the local ecosystems.”

Flora Betsa Chibule, Deputy Governor of the Kilifi County, said: “In Kilifi County, most of our people are either fishermen or farmers. We are grateful for this plant, and since cassava is a crop that does well in Kilifi, we are encouraging farmers to grow it, as it can also be integrated with both corn and maize.”

Fatuma Achani, Governor of Kwale County, said: “This is not the first time we are getting support from the European Union. Few months ago, we were receiving fishing boats in Shimoni. Today we are here, to this Cassava processing plant. We don’t take this for granted, we appreciate it and we want to work together even more.”

With Go Blue, The EU partnered with its Member States, with the county and national governments to contribute to this vision of equal opportunities and socio-economic empowerment for the citizens of the coast.

Representatives from the EU Delegation to Kenya, from AICS and from Kwale County Government at the inauguration of the cassava plant

Representatives from the UE Delegation to Kenya, AICS and CIHEAM Bari at the inauguration event in Matsangoni, Kilifi County

The small scale cassava plant in Magodi, Kwale County

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