Region could look into cassava sector

Agriculture remains the source and cause of the largest news in the region. Inflation, particularly the rising price of food in all of the region, seems to have hit many headlines.

This can be attributed to the unpredictable weather patterns and to a great extent poor planning and anticipation by both farmers and governments alike.
However, there seems to be an opportunity in all of these situations when it comes to the issue of food security.

For every challenge, there is an opportunity. The answer, in part, lies with a primary solution to rural household food consumption and to a large measure household/commercial gains. One such product is the cassava crop.
Carbohydrates is one of the three major nutrients which supply the body with energy after fat and protein.

Cassava is the third-largest source of carbohydrates for meals in the world, and has been described as the ‘bread of the tropics.”
Cassava is grown all of over the East African region. It is a drought-resistant crop, not labour intensive, easy to tend and is used both as a bread and its leaves as a source or gravy.

It can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted and fried. Cassava is also dried and milled as a flour.

Cassava has proven unlimited uses. Besides its nutritional attributes, cassava is used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, bio-fuels, alcoholic beverages and animal feed. Cassava starch is now a major ingredient in the paper industry.
Starch is also used in textile manufacturing. It is a popular base for adhesives, particularly those designed to bond paper, glass, mineral wool and clay.
There have been attempts by some countries in the world, notably India, Vietnam, and China will grow cassava on a large scale. In Africa, Nigeria has shown the way and has reaped dividends.

In the region, a project spearheaded by the Rwanda army is setting a precedent whose success could be a case study of how organised commercial agriculture could spur rural development.

However, a regional scheme, funded by member countries, bolstered by integrated scientific research and collaborative initiatives is a good way to garner integration and get our communities out of poverty.

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