The SARD-SC project’s efforts to promote the processing of cassava in Tanzania have received a major boost with the completion and handing over of newly constructed facilities for a training centre on cassava processing by the contractors on 27 January 2016. These included an equipment fabrication workshop, a cassava processing center and offices.
The construction of the buildings, which are on the institute’s land donated by the Government of Tanzania in Kwembe, about 30 kms from Dar es Salaam, was funded by the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa(SARD-SC) project. This is a multi- national CGIAR- led project, funded by the Africa Development Bank and led by IITA.
The buildings are part of the project’s efforts to support the generation of agricultural technology and innovations through the construction of improved facilities that support efficient dissemination of post-harvest cassava processing technologies to the farming communities.
On hand to receive the building was Dr.Edward Kanju, a senior Scientist at IITA Tanzania on behalf of the IITA Director for Eastern hub, Victor Manyong. He appreciated the effort, support and cooperation of the contractors and for a job well done. In turn he handed over the certificate of completion to Claude R. Shikony, the director of Finance and Administration for Intercity Builders Limited
Also present at the event was Dr. Veronica Uzokwe, the Country Coordinator of IITA/SARD-SC project. Uzokwe noted the centre will go a long way in supporting efforts to disseminate cassava post-harvest innovation/technologies and value addition. This in turn will contribute to improving food security to overcome hunger, improve livelihoods and lift up the country from poverty.
She said the training centre will bring together stakeholders from across the country for theoretical and practical lessons on post-harvest cassava processing technologies.
“The project is complete and ready to operate, we hope that IITA will get more fund for operational efficiency “said Dr. Veronica
According to Mr. Bakari Abdallah, IITA/SARD-SC Research Assistant, the project has purchased improved cassava post-harvest processing machines that will be installed in February, 2016.
“We have already purchased equipment such as hummer mill, fryers, hydraulic presses, peeling and chipping machines ready for installation in the cassava processing building. The machines will speed up the processing of high quality cassava production compared to local technologies.” said Mr. Bakari.
Others present at the handing over ceremony were Ms. Zulfawu Yahaya, IITA/SARD-SC Procurement Specialist; Clare Ruhweza, IITA Regional Maintenance officer and Gilbert Kimboka, Assistant Maintenance officer at IITA-Tanzania, Davis Mwakanyamale- SARD-SC Country Supervisor, and Onugbolu Onyekachi, a consultant Quantity Surveyor from IITA -Ibadan, Nigeria.