Young agricultural entrepreneurs from four African countries will participate, from November 19 to 21, in an intensive training at Embrapa Cassava and Fruits facilities in the city of Cruz das Almas, Bahia, Brazil.
The “Workshop on Processing and Post-Harvesting in Cassava” is carried out by the Brazil Africa Institute (IBRAF), funded by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and implemented by the Embrapa technical team.
The group consists of seven small business managers in the cassava sector – 3 from Ghana, 2 from Cameroon, 1 from Nigeria and 1 from Côte d’Ivoire. They are young women and men, beneficiaries of IFAD’s projects and passionate about the sustainable transformation of agriculture.
“They come from countries where climate change has impacted agricultural production and the livelihoods of rural families, prompting many young people to leave the countryside in search of a better life in urban areas. We want to reverse this trend by empowering young people from rural areas with the knowledge and skills to make agriculture more sustainable and a market that is more attractive to younger generations”, said Amath Pathe Sene, IFAD’s Western and Central Africa Environmental and Climate Leader.
During the three-day course, participants will receive information on cassava processing. “The goal is for them to become multipliers of the technologies since they all have links to rural activity”, says researcher Joselito Motta, one of the coordinators of the training.
On the morning of the 19th, the group attends the lecture and workshop on opportunities for utilization and processing of cassava roots carried out by Motta and receive lessons on the processing and presence of cyanogenic compounds, which are chemical compounds that may cause intoxication when ingested above of the recommended maximum level of intake. In the afternoon, there will be practical demonstration of minimum processing in the Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, with procedures of hygiene of the roots.
On the 20th technical visits will be made to processing units of cassava derivatives in Cruz das Alma (Beijus), Maragogipe (packaging of vacuum roots delivered to school lunches in the municipality) and Tancredo Neves, where they will meet the Cooperative of Rural Producers of Presidente Tancredo Neves (Coopatan), which processes roots for flour and pastry production and sells packaged roots to a large supermarket chain in Salvador.
Training in Cruz das Almas is carried out under the Youth Technical Training Program (YTTP) of the Brazil Africa Institute. “YTTP promotes the exchange of young Africans for Brazil so that they are trained in areas such as agriculture and technology. Our goal is for the groups to learn from Brazilian expertise and return to their countries to replicate the knowledge acquired”, explains IBRAF’s President, Prof. João Bosco Monte.
This is the second YTTP session held in partnership with Embrapa. Last year, 28 young people from 14 African countries spent a month in Cruz das Almas receiving training on the production and processing chain of cassava.
Shortly after the end of the course, participants and representatives of IFAD and Embrapa travel to Salvador to participate in the 6th Brazil Africa Forum, on 22 and 23 November. The Forum is hosted by IBRAF and has as its theme “youth empowerment: transformations to achieve sustainable development”.