The cassava value chain in Ghana is supported by a number of service providers including processing equipment manufacturers who have vertical links to the value chain at the points of raw material production and processing, and more recently, packaging, in view of the increasing innovation within the sector.
Over the years, complaints about the limited availability of quality equipment, poor links between processors and equipment manufacturers, high cost of locally manufactured equipment as a result of the high cost of input materials etc, have persisted.
This has resulted in a situation where some processors settle for less expensive alternatives at the expense of quality with the attendant risk of unexpected contamination of products. On the other hand, processors find cheaper options abroad which in a number of instances become difficult to use, manage or service locally.
On Wednesday, 10th August 2022, UNIDO – United Nations Industrial Development Organization West Africa Competitiveness Programme – Ghana held a Cassava Stakeholder Dialogue to provide a national platform for face-to-face interaction to resolve challenges with the standardization of equipment, packaging and branding.
The equipment and innovation dialogue provided the platform for cassava processors, regulators, equipment producers, innovators and solution providers to delve into the prospects within the existing gaps within the equipment processing and use of the sector in Ghana.
As part of the forum, there was a special Presentation on the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme-NEIP and how industry players can support providing job creation opportunities for the youth.
The dialogue was attended by cassava processors and equipment manufacturers and innovators from all the UNIDO -WACOMP cassava clusters namely Volta, Atebubu-Amanteng-Mampong, Abura-Asebu and Kintampo-Techiman clusters.
Other participants were officers from government agencies with mandates connected to processing equipment research, regulation and fabrication such as Food Research Institute, Ghana Standards Authority, Foods and Drugs Authority, Women in Agriculture Development, and Agriculture Mechanization Directorate. Industrial associations such as the Ghana Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Association (GICSP) and the Association of Ghana Industries.