Improved variety of cassava for high level of productivity is of importance to the Kigoma region, Tanzania, for the purposes of industrialization, food security and as a source of revenue. In consonance with these objectives, the SARD-SC cassava value chain team went to Kigoma, on Friday 3rd January,2014, to follow up with the preparation of sites for the elite cassava variety multiplication. They also met with the Mwilima brothers, owners of Agromats Company, the new partners of the SARD-SC project, who are planning to establish a cassava processing factory in the region.
During the meeting with the duo of Dr Veronica Uzokwe, ( SARD-SC Agronomist, field Fellow), and Ferdinand Nachenga, Project Assistant, the brothers explained that the Regional Commissioner of Kigoma, H.E Lt Col. Issa Machibya and the Ministry of Agriculture wanted to ensure food security and increase cassava productivity for industrialization in the region. Because of its geographical location, Kigoma is the food basket of the region supplying major food crops to neighbouring countries such as DR.Congo, Burundi and South Sudan. However, they disclosed the major agricultural challenge of the place is the lack of processing technology, and as a result, food crop, especially cassava is exported in raw forms to other countries and after being processed by these countries, its by products are imported back into Tanzania and Kigoma. The Mwilima brothers bemoaned the dwindling rate of cassava production in the region and hoped that IITA through the SARD-SC project intervention will ameliorate the situation. They stated the importance of the need for government to create awareness for the people to produce high yielding and quality cassava for the industrialization of cassava in Kigoma, Tanzania.