George Prah, the Deputy Director of Agriculture at the Directorate of Crop Services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, believes that if more attention is given to cassava, it can be as economically beneficial as cocoa.
He mentioned the high demand for cassava and its derivatives in both local and international markets during the launch of the International Cassava Fair (FIMAN) 2023, scheduled for November 21-23 in Paranavai, Brazil. The Agrihouse Foundation, an NGO, is organizing this event.
Prah noted that Ghana is self-sufficient in cassava production, with the ability to produce 22 million tonnes of edible cassava annually, most of which is consumed locally. The government has selected cassava as a major crop under the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative. Under PFJ 2.0, Cassava Zones will be created to support farmers with seeds, inputs, and facilitate the sale of their produce.
The International Cassava Fair in Brazil is seen as essential for exposing participants to new technologies, innovations, and business opportunities in cassava production and processing. It can help farmers find new markets, learn about agricultural machinery, and stay competitive with their peers in developed economies.
Ivo Pierin, Managing Partner of Podium Alimentos, emphasized that Brazil possesses valuable technologies and innovations that can benefit cassava producers. The fair’s location is ideal, not far from Brazil’s capital, offering a chance to connect with international players in the cassava market.
Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, highlighted the significance of FIMAN, the largest cassava event in Brazil, which started in 2016. The fair has experienced substantial growth, with more companies and visitors participating in subsequent editions.
The program includes business presentations, exhibitions, panel discussions, educational trips, networking opportunities, and business-to-business matchmaking. Michael Akoto, the Trade Promotion Officer at the Brazilian Embassy, encouraged Ghana to learn from Brazil’s cassava production and processing expertise.