8 Jan 2016
Cassava is a major staple for more than 200 million people in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. In Uganda, 74% of farming households grow cassava and the majority of them are poverty-stricken communities with very limited access to markets. Cassava is the second most important crop after maize in terms of production in the region. Studies by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), also show that the share of marketable cassava grew from 16% in 1995/96 to 23% in 2005/06 (UBOS, 2007) and regional trade in fresh and dried cassava has increased over recent years, mainly supplying South Sudan.
CHAIN Uganda, in partnership with NARO/NaCRRI is implementing the commercialisation of cassava seed systems project in the districts of Arua, Kabarole/Kamwenge, and Mukono. The project objectives are as follows: enhancing the production of cassava pre-basic and basic seed; operationalising quality assurance of cassava planting material production and distribution; commercializing certified cassava planting materials production; determining the economic viability of the cassava seed system; and, assessing the rate and magnitude of degeneration of cassava due to virus infection. CHAIN Uganda is dealing with commercializing of the certified cassava seed production in the above-mentioned districts.
CHAIN Uganda (Coalition for Health, Agriculture and Income Networks), with proven experience and speciality in agribusiness management was sub-granted to train these CSEs in Mukono, Arua, and Kabarole districts on commercial cassava seed production. CHAIN has a vast experience with farmers in working with banana and potato seed production. The key role of the CHAIN Uganda is in objective 3 to help in commercialization of cassava quality declared planting materials in the above-mentioned districts. Furthermore, CHAIN Uganda is working closely with objective 1, 2, and 4 to enhance access to basic seeds by CSEs andinstitutionalise certification.