The Mombasa International Show organized by the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) is an iconic event taking place in Mombasa every year and providing a one-stop destination for businesses and entrepreneurs to showcase products, services, and innovations. With the theme “Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture and Trade Initiatives for Sustainable Economic Growth”, this year the event was organized from the 6th to the 10th of September and attracted hundreds of visitors.
Together with the German Agency for International Cooperation – GIZ, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics) took part in the Go Blue-dedicated booth installed near the entrance of the ASK event to showcase some of the activities realized through the EU-funded Programme to enhance the cassava value chain.
The agricultural sector is a key driver for the socioeconomic development of Kenya coastal region, and cassava represents a fundamental source of nutrition for the local population. An important component of the Go Blue, realized by Aics with the technical support of the Agronomic Mediterranean Institute of Bari (CIHEAM Bari), is focusing on the support to smallholder farmers in rural areas. Activities include the strengthening of their capacities for improved production and productivity, the provision of improved varieties of cassava seeds, the provision of improved infrastructure and equipment for cassava processing to ultimately transform small-scale farmers into commercial farmers. Over the last year, one cassava processing plant powered by solar energy in Magodi, Kwale County, has been constructed: the facility is currently used by farmers to peel, chop and dry cassava for flour production. Flour can in fact ensure greater revenues for farmers, and it is easier to store and to preserve if compared with fresh cassava.
Aics could showcase around 100 kg of freshly processed cassava flour and cassava chips produced through the recently built Magodi Processing Unit in Kwale: the booth attracted high level visitors, including H. E. the Ambassador of Botswana to Kenya, Charles Mogotsi, and H. E. the Deputy Governor of Mombasa County, Francis Thoya. Visitors also included students coming from schools of at least 10 different Counties (Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Siaya, Nakuru, Makueni, Kisii, and Nairobi). The fair also represented a key opportunity to create connections with local entrepreneurs who showed interest in purchasing cassava from the processing units constructed by the Go Blue Programme, to then sell it on retail.