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Journal cover: Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2044-0839

Online from: 2011

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Cassava commercialization in Southeastern Africa


Document Information:
Title:Cassava commercialization in Southeastern Africa
Author(s):Steven Haggblade, (Based at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA), Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt, (Based at Lund University, Lund, Sweden), Drinah Banda Nyirenda, (Based at University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia), Johanna Bergman Lodin, (Based at Lund University, Lund, Sweden), Leon Brimer, (Based at University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark), Martin Chiona, (Based at Zambia Agricultural Research Institute, Mansa, Zambia), Maureen Chitundu, (Based at Programme Against Malnutrition, Lusaka, Zambia), Linley Chiwona-Karltun, (Based at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden), Constantino Cuambe, (Based at Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM), Nampula, Mozambique), Michael Dolislager, (Based at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA), Cynthia Donovan, (Based at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA), Klaus Droppelmann, (Based at International Food Policy Research Institute, Lilongwe, Malawi), Magnus Jirström, (Based at Lund University, Lund, Sweden), Emma Kambewa, (Based at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Nairobi, Kenya), Patrick Kambewa, (Based at Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi), Nzola Meso Mahungu, (Based at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Lilongwe, Malawi), Jonathan Mkumbira, (Based at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Lilongwe, Malawi), João Mudema, (Based at Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM), Maputo, Mozambique), Hunter Nielson, (Based at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA), Mishek Nyembe, (Based at Food Security Research Project, Lusaka, Zambia), Venâncio Alexandre Salegua, (Based at Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM), Nampula, Mozambique), Alda Tomo, (Based at Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM), Maputo, Mozambique), Michael Weber, (Based at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Citation:Steven Haggblade, Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt, Drinah Banda Nyirenda, Johanna Bergman Lodin, Leon Brimer, Martin Chiona, Maureen Chitundu, Linley Chiwona-Karltun, Constantino Cuambe, Michael Dolislager, Cynthia Donovan, Klaus Droppelmann, Magnus Jirström, Emma Kambewa, Patrick Kambewa, Nzola Meso Mahungu, Jonathan Mkumbira, João Mudema, Hunter Nielson, Mishek Nyembe, Venâncio Alexandre Salegua, Alda Tomo, Michael Weber, (2012) "Cassava commercialization in Southeastern Africa", Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Vol. 2 Iss: 1, pp.4 - 40
Keywords:Africa, Cassava, Commercialization, Food crops, Food security, Malawi, Mozambique, Plants, Value chain, Zambia
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/20440831211219219 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors wish to thank the following donors for financing the field work and analytical studies that made this paper possible: the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) through their Cassava Transformation in Southern Africa (CATISA) project and their support for Zambia's Agricultural Consultative Forum and Food Security Research Project (FSRP); the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Food Security Initiative special support to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Zambia Food Security Research Project (FSRP) and the Southern Africa Root Crops Research Network (SARRNET); and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through their Guiding Investments in Sustainable Agricultural Markets in Africa (GISAMA) project. The authors are likewise grateful to the many farmers, traders, processors, cassava breeders, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and university researchers for their candor and for the time they generously spent sharing their experiences and observations.
Abstract:

Purpose – Cassava production surged noticeably in Southeastern Africa beginning in the 1990s. The purpose of this paper is to examine the commercial responses and food security consequences of cassava production growth in the region.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper incorporates a mix of quantitative analysis, based primarily on original analysis of national farm household survey data, together with key informant interviews with value chain participants in the three neighboring countries of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

Findings – In the cassava production zones, cassava's high productivity translates into per kilogram carbohydrate costs 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the cost of cereals such as maize and wheat, thereby opening up a range of profitable opportunities for commercialization of cassava-based foods, feeds and industrial products. Despite this potential, cassava commercialization in Southeastern Africa remains in its formative stages, with only 10 per cent to 30 per cent of production currently marketed. Unlike West Africa, where cassava commercialization has centered on marketing prepared cassava-based convenience foods, the emerging cassava markets in Southeastern Africa have centered on fresh cassava, low value-added cassava flour, and experiments in industrial processing of cassava-based starches, biofuels and feeds. Strategic investment in a set of key public goods (breeding, training in food sciences and food safety, and research on in-ground cassava storage) can help to shape this transition in ways that benefit both commercial interests and the food security of vulnerable households.

Originality/value – The paper compares cassava commercialization across differing agro-climatic zones, policy environments and food staple zones.



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