Cassava Enterprise Development Project
Up to half of the cassava harvested is wasted by production and postharvest inefficiencies. The rest is consumed as food in a few, limited ways. Cassava production is not commercially oriented and farm management practice are poor, resulting in high production costs and low yields. Commercial cassava production will depend on the use of improved technologies to drive down production and processing costs. With more and more Nigerians living in urban centers, the demand for convenience foods will continue to rise. Developing the postharvest sector will help to improve efficiency in agroprocessing and reduce waste in the cassava industry. Agroprocessing and diversified use of cassava in various forms in the food, feed, and agroindustrial sector will expand employment opportunities and improve incomes in both rural and urban areas.
The principal emphasis of the cassava enterprise development project (CEDP) is to support micro- and small-scale agroprocessing activities. The CEDP complements the preemptive management of the cassava mosaic disease project. It supports the activities of other cassava-related projects in Nigeria, such as the Presidential Initiative on Cassava, and the Root and Tuber Expansion Program.
Diversify and strengthen rural economy in selected geopolitical zones in Nigeria using cassava as the engine of growth.
1. Reduce the impact and spread of the cassava mosaic disease.
2. Enable farmers to increase the productivity of cassava using improved and sustainable management practices.
3. Develop and expand postharvest processing and marketing outlets for cassava products.
4. Strengthen human and institutional capacity of producers, processors, traders, and fabricators to maximize their efficiency.
The primary beneficiaries of this project are resource-poor producers, micro- and small-scale processors, most of whom are women. The secondary beneficiaries include fabricators, traders, agribusiness entrepreneurs, and consumers.
The CEDP is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and implemented by the Interntional Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
IITA at Onne High Rainfall Station near Port Harcourt coordinates CEDP. A project management committee consisting of representatives of the three partners (USAID, SPDC, and IITA) oversees the project, while a project manager coordinates the implementation of project activities. The advisary arm of CEDP is a seven-member stakeholder committee/cassava enterprise association. This is made up of representatives from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, state governments, National Agricultural Research and Extension System (NARES), producers' associations, NGOs, the private sector, and donors. Project activities are executed in the eleven core CEDP states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers.