A group of young agricultural entrepreneurs from four African countries participated this week in an intensive training on cassava processing in the Brazilian city of Cruz das Almas in the state of Bahia.
The ‘Processing and Post-Harvesting Workshop on Cassava’ is the result of an initiative of the Brazil-Africa Institute (IBRAF), funded by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and implemented by the Embrapa Mandioca and Fruticultura ‘.
“We have seven young people who are now in Brazil for a week-long visit, through a project that IFAD is financing here in Bahia”, “with the intention of knowing processes of transformation of cassava, because they are all of the companies that “said Claus Reiner, the director of IFAD in Brazil, in an interview.
The group consists of seven small business managers in the cassava sector – three from Ghana, two from Cameroon, one from Nigeria and one from Ivory Coast.
In the Brazilian territory, Claus Reiner indicated that the young Africans went to “the fields, to visit the project activities” and to learn about other ways to exploit cassava, to later try to replicate in their countries the various products made through this plant, which in Africa were virtually unknown.
However, the Director of IFAD in Brazil stated that it was not only the young Africans who benefited from the experience since they also introduced products that in Brazil are not so large.
“One of them brought with him cassava couscous, a product that was not known here in Brazil. So there is an exchange of transformation possibilities that is interesting for both sides,” he said.
However, Claus Reiner assured that the intention of these small entrepreneurs is not to establish business partnerships in Brazil, but rather to try to implement business models similar to those of the South American country, within their areas of activity.
“The idea is to gain knowledge of other forms of transformation, production and activities of the sale of cassava.” Knowing well the processes of sale and commercialization. “For them, commercialization in Brazil is not a topic for the moment because they have a market very large in the countries themselves, which makes the process more direct, “said Claus Reiner, during the sixth forum Brazil Africa.
The theme of the forum was “Youth Empowerment: Transformation to Achieve Sustainable Development“, addressing, among other issues, trade and investment flows between Brazil and Africa, the creative industry, The role of youth in promoting democracy and South-South and triangular cooperation for health and development.
The initiative was attended by speakers from the economy, investment, education, health, agriculture and trade in Africa and Brazil.
One of the major issues addressed was the promotion of agriculture, with three of the world’s largest organizations fighting hunger and promoting food security – the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and the World Food Program – how to make agriculture an interesting area for young people.
The president of the Brazil-Africa Institute (Ibraf), João Bosco, said he hoped that the exchange of experiences during the forum would serve to stimulate exchange opportunities between Brazil and the African continent.