By Jimoh Bbatunde
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has lauded the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, for implementing the Cassava Value Chain Development project in West Africa.
The commendation was contained in FAOâ€™s Supervisory Body assessment report made available to journalistsÂ in Ibadan during the week.
The organisation expressed satisfaction with the on-time commissioning of the processing centers given the logistical and communication constraints in the region.
The statement quoted the head of Supervisory Body, Adams Prakash as saying that the project had helped in alleviating rural poverty, using sustainable market_led initiatives.
It gave kudos to the provision of opportunities for farmers and villagers to participate in value chains which would improve livelihoods.
The report encouraged IITA and project partners to deploy more superior cassava stems to farmers, organise activities on enterprise management and facilitate microfinance linkages to ensure project sustainability.
The Supervisory Bodyâ€™s assessment report was carried out between Feb. 4 and Feb. 10, 2010.
The mission made field visits to all the project sites in Sierra Leone and two of the three sites in Nigeria.
According to the report, the cassava processing sites in Sierra Leone are Gbotima Processing Center in Bo District; Njala Agricultural Research Center in Moyamba District; Adamaris Cassava Processing Center in Bombali District.
Other centres in Sierra Leone are the UPWARDS Cassava Processing Center in Port Loko District; and another center in Waterloo in the Western Rural District.In Nigeria, it visited MPC Shabback at Kuje, Abuja, and Joe Beg Bajju in Nassarawa State.