Sixth Strategic Meeting of GCP21

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Gari Revolution Strategic Workshop: Roadmap to an Efficient Gari Processing System Ibadan, Nigeria, October 4-6, 2016



Dr. Claude M. Fauquet
Director GCP21
CIAT, Apdo. Aereo 6713
Cali, Colombia
Cell: +1-314-477-3973
Dr. Graham Thiele
Director CRP-RTB

CIP, Apartado 1558,
Lima 12, Peru

Organizing Committee:

IITA Dr. Peter Kulakow
Dr. Busie Maziya-Dixon
CRP-L&F Dr. Acho Okike
CRP-RTB Dr. Thierry Tran
GCP21 Dr. Claude M. Fauquet
CAVA Dr. Sanni Lateef
NRI Dr. Andrew Westby

Workshop Summary:  Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava with a production of about 53 million Mt in 2014, which is regularly increasing each year. Gari is the privileged processed cassava food for a large proportion of the Nigerian population as well as West Africa. Gari is the subsistence cassava food by excellence in Nigeria, which is produced, marketed and consumed almost entirely in a traditional manner. The efficacy of processing is fairly low with about 5 tons of fresh roots that are needed to produce 1 ton of gari. Gari is produced quasi entirely manually, using every single day a very large population of women and children, who are working in very difficult and unhealthy conditions. Gari processing is a very large consumer of wood to roast the gari and the pollution at the gari processing market is incredibly high! Nigeria is producing more than 9 million Mt of gari, which are feeding millions of Nigerian everyday, the system although polluting and poorly efficient, is therefore working!

The cassava transformation plan of Nigeria seeks to create a new generation of cassava farmers, oriented towards commercial production to generate a cassava production surplus dedicated to specific value-added chains. The overarching strategy of the cassava transformation plan is to turn the cassava sector in Nigeria into a major player in local and international flour, starch, sweeteners, ethanol and dried chips markets by adopting improved production and processing technologies by organizing producers and processors into efficient value-added chains. In that regards the involvement of FMARD to improve the gari processing system in Nigeria would be indispensible.

One of the major issues of cassava is its short shelf-life. Harvested roots can remain fresh for processing for approximately 3 days, meaning that during this period of time, farmers have to harvest, roots have to be transported to the gari market and the whole processing has to be performed. Once the processing is done, gari can be stored for months! Gari is therefore, among all the cassava products, a privileged product allowing transportation in the cities and storage time to be sold to the masses. Urbanization is increasing very fast in Africa and if today only 5 countries have more than 50% of their population in cities (Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, Congo and Angola), by 2050 most of the African sub-saharan countries will have way more than 50% of their population in cities. This will call for using food products such as gari, therefore improving gari processing and marketing today is working at food security for Africa by 2050!

Because gari is regularly consumed by millions of people on a daily basis, it is also an excellent vehicle to improve human nutrition in Nigeria and Africa. In addition to calories African populations also need proteins, minerals and vitamins. Cassava roots are very low in protein content, minerals and vitamins and consequently gari is not a very nutritive food. However, because gari is consumed regularly by large populations, it is also an excellent vehicle to improve the nutrition of these consumers. The workshop will consider ways to improve the nutritional qualities of gari and will define what steps should be undertaken to make this a reality without changing the texture and taste of gari.

Improving the existing gari processing system and its nutritional quality in Nigeria will require the involvement of a variety of scientists and developers in a chain of interventions from the roots to the plate of the consumers. The main objective of this workshop if therefore to establish a detailed RoadMap of all the necessary actions required to: 1- increase the efficacy of gari processing and 2- increase the nutritional value of gari for millions if consumers.

The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21), the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), the CGIAR research programs on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), Livestock and Fish, and Agriculture for Human Nutrition (A4HN), and the National Resource Institute (NRI), have common interests in the improvement of the gari processing system in Nigeria as well as the nutritional quality of gari to improve the health of the consumers. These organizations are partnering to organize a workshop entitled: Gari Revolution Workshop: Roadmap to an Efficient Gari Processing System, IITA, Ibadan, October 5-7, 2016, to ask the question: What is the best way to improve the processing efficacy and nutritional quality of gari in Nigeria?

The workshop is timely to prepare in concrete terms some of the activities of the RTB Phase II research program, to be launched in January 2017. In particular the conclusions of the workshop can support the flagship product FP4 Nutritious RTB foods and value added through post-harvest innovation, which includes significant work on improving gari processing in relation with consumers preferences, as part of the cluster of activities CA4.2 Cassava processing.

The short-term outcomes/impacts expected are:
- A roadmap to improve the efficacy of gari processing
- A pilot project to demonstrate the application of the roadmap
- An action plan to extend the improvement from a pilot project to the whole Nigeria

The long-term outcomes/impacts expected are:
1- A more efficient gari processing system from 20 to 30% or more
2- An improved ecological impact of gari processing
3- An impact of a more nutritional gari on Nigerian populations
4- An extension of the Nigeria example to West Africa or the whole Africa

Points of interest to discuss:
Cassava root with high dry matter content
It is obvious that the efficacy of gari processing is strictly correlated to the dry matter content (DMC) of the cassava roots used for the processing. During the rainy season, the DMC of cassava roots reaching the market, is close to 20%. There are many cassava cultivars that have much higher DMC (above 35%), but not all the cassava CVs have the capacity to produce “high quality” gari. Trading of cassava roots is done by volume (truck load) and not by DMC, but the cassava processing industry managed to impose the use of the DMC to determine the price of the roots, this would have to be done and accepted by cassava producers and gari processors.

Gari processing equipment
For decades gari processing equipment has been improved and should be now available to gari processors. Of particular interest are the graters that will define the “grain” of the produced gari, and the interactions between the grating and roasting operations in determining the particle size distribution of the final product. Roasters should be improved to reach an homogenous temperature and should use less wood or an alternative source of energy. Cost and availability of this equipment should be discussed.

Organization and Management
Gari processing markets are not organized, facilities are very poor and should be improved to allow workers to work in better conditions and gari to be stored in acceptable conditions. Organization of gari markets should also include management of waste and associations should have more financial power. Training of personnel should be part of the plan.

Access to small loans
Gari processors do not have access to small and cheap loans to buy better equipment, build facilities and supplies at better costs. Policy and banks should be involved to make this a reality.

Economy and Access to market information
Cassava producers should be paid by DMC and should benefit the gari processing efficacy increase. Evaluation of the gari production economy should be evaluated and monitored regularly. Prices of gari on market gari and in the cities are highly variable, access to market values should be accessible by gari producers.

Ecological impact of gari processing
Organization of gari processing markets, collect of cassava waste (peels and effluents) should be organized to allow their use in other value chains, and use of alternative sources of energy for the gari roasters should decrease the ecological impact of gari processing. The use of cassava waste generated by gari processing should clean-up the gari markets, should improve the working conditions of workers and should generate new sources of revenue for gari makers.

Gender/Children issues in gari processing
Increasing the gari processing efficacy, using modern efficient equipment, improving facilities should immediately impact on the quality of life of people working in these markets and should free the children from un-efficient hand work, who could go back to school.

Nutritional qualities of gari
In theory it should be easy to improve the nutritional quality of gari by adding soybean flour to improve protein content (super gari) and by adding mineral and vitamin complements to increase iron, zinc and pro-vitamin contents (biofortified gari). The use of yellow cassava roots could also be discussed to increase the pro-vitamin A content. Economical issues and shelf life of complements should be discussed.

Marketing issues in gari production
The marketing of gari is fairly complex and not well known. The multitude of gari production sites, the multitude of gari traders and the different markets across the country are complicating the problem. These different aspects and socio-economic impacts should be discussed during the workshop.

Cassava producer and Gari processor cooperatives
The possibility to organize cassava producers and gari processors in cooperatives will be addressed and discussed to evaluate the possible gain and impact on the whole system. Cassava producer cooperative could bargain better sales prices for their roots, they could undertake transportation and thereby decrease transportation costs. Gari processors could easier access loans to buy equipment, they could have their own financial loans, they could bargain sales prices of their gari products and share the amortization and maintenance of facilities.

Gari trader associations and marketing issues
Marketing issues of gari are quite complex in Nigeria and would merit optimization through associations and information, to reduce transportation costs and reduce price range of gari across the country and locations.

Objective of the meeting
The primary objective of the workshop is to establish, with the contribution of a set of recognized experts, a Roadmap to an Efficient Gari Processing System, involving all the aspects of the gari processing and marketing chain from the roots to the plate. This roadmap when finalized and agreed by all participants would be published to become a reference for the community to generate R&D projects and for donors to fund these projects. The roadmap will also serve a trigger to generate a new approach for cassava genetic improvement towards breeding by design to target a very important cassava food market. Although the workshop will be convened in Nigeria, which is hosting the largest gari market in Africa, it will also serve as a reference for other countries where gari is growing in importance. As gari, a relatively cheap food made from cassava, can be shelved for a long period of time, it seems to be a privileged cassava processed food to best respond to the population explosion and urbanization in Africa.

Background:  The purpose of this workshop, is not a scientific exchange of information, but rather identify together, what should be done to greatly improve the Gari processing in quantity and quality in the near future and the livelihoods of those involved. GCP21 convenes a broad range of actors around gari to stimulate action for change.

Of special interest is the development of the TAAT program (Technologies for the African Agricultural Transformation) by the AfDB to begin in 2017. Gari being such an important food for Africa in the present and future, it is obvious that it will be an important component of this very important program for Africa and we will have a TAAT representative to give us an introduction. Additionally, this workshop will build on the process of results based management led by RTB with IITA and other partners for small and medium scale cassava processing in Nigeria.

(1) Identify key trends in demand for gari
(2) Describe current state of knowledge and critical gaps in gari processing
(3) Prepare draft Roadmap for next steps to improve gari processing and livelihoods
(4) Identify elements of a multi-institutional R&D project to put the Roadmap at work in the real world


Tuesday 4 OCT:
9:00 am: Opening: Godwin Atser (Master of Ceremonies)
9:05 am: Welcome: Hilde Koper (DDG Corporate Services, IITA)
9:15 am: Introduction of participants (Your name and affiliation, In one sentence, what do we need to do to achieve the Gari Revolution?): Claude Fauquet (GCP21)
9:30 am: Review of agenda - Claude Fauquet (GCP21) - PDF
TOPIC 1: Trends and prospective demand for gari – overview
9:45 am: Market studies and prospective demand - Sanni Lateef (FUNAAB) - PDF
10:05 am: Commentators - Segun Ayeni (FMARD)
10:15 am: Q&A
10:30 am: TAAT Program and Gari Processing - Taofik Shittu (Federal University of Agriculture) - Abass Adebayo (IITA) - PDF
10:45 am: Q&A
11:00 am: Coffee Break
11:30 am: RTB approach to improve gari processing, value chain and livelihoods - Graham Thiele (RTB) - Thierry Tran (CIRAD) - Busie Maziya-Dixon (IITA) - PDF
11:45 am: Q&A
TOPIC 2: Hygiene, environment, safety, waste to wealth, livestock feed
12:00 pm: Update: High quality peels for animal feed - Iheanacho Okike (Livestock & Fish-ILRI) - PDF
12:20 pm: Commentators - Adenjii Kolawole (NijiLukas Co.)
12:35 pm: Q&A
1:00 pm: Lunch
TOPIC 3: Processing efficiency: traditional versus industrial, equipment
2:00 pm: Model peeling and gari processing - Peter Kolawole (IITA) - PDF
2:10 pm: Diffusion of industrial gari processing in Nigeria - Thierno Diallo (IITA) - PDF
2:20 pm: Lesson learned from small and medium gari processing - Andrew Westby (NRI) - PDF
2:35 pm: Post-harvest innovation and energy efficiency - Thierry Tran (CIRAD-CIAT) - PDF
2:50 pm: Commentators - Adenjii Kolawole (NijiLukas Co.) - Segun Olukanmi (Trustmichael Nig. Ltd.)
3:05 pm: Q&A
3:20 pm: Dry matter content and processing improvement - Stefan Hauser (IITA) - PDF
3:30 pm: Coffee
4:00 pm: Cassava cultivars for Gari - Peter Kulakow (IITA) - PDF
4:10 pm: Screening of cassava quality traits for processing ability and user’s preferences - Dominique Dufour (CIRAD-CIAT) - PDF
4:25 pm: Commentators - Sanni Lateef and Hemant Nitturkar (RTB)
4:40 pm: Q&A
5:00 pm: Wrap up - Graham Thiele
7:00 pm: Cocktail - Cappa Bar

Wednesday 5 OCT:
8:30 am: Plan for the day - Claude/Graham
TOPIC 5: Security and nutrition: food security issues, storage, packaging
8:45 am: Update: food safety and nutrition of Gari - Busie - PDF
9:00 am: Update: WISHH has and "Super-Gari" - Josh Niederman (WISHH) - Noli Jocson (WISHH) - PDF
9:15 am: Update: yellow cassava in Nigeria and HarvestPlus - Paul Ilona (A4HN)
9:30 am: Update: Need and cost of gari fortification - Francis Aminu (GAIN)
9:45 am: Commentators and Q&A - Honorable Oguzu Lee Lewis (Parliament of Uganda)
TOPIC 6: Gender issues, equity job loss and creation, employment
10:15 am: Gender considerations in gari processing - Lora Forsythe (NRI) - PDF
10:30 am: Q&A
10:45 am: Coffee and Group Photograph
TOPIC 7: Microcredit, financing, economy, access to technical support, cooperatives
11:15 am: Update: micro loans and financing prospects for gari makers - Kurawa Farouk (MARKETS II) - PDF
11:30 am: Update: cooperatives and gari processing and marketing - Makinde Kahinde (AGRA) - PDF
11:45 am: Q&A
TOPIC 8: Roadmap
12:15 pm: Landscape analysis of gari processing - Nathalie Ebo (Sahel Consult and Context Network) - PDF
12:30 pm: Q&A
1:00 pm: Lunch
Working Groups
2:00 pm: Organization of working groups
  Four parallel working groups:
   1. Gari quality, standards and dry matter content - PPT
   2a. Processing technologies and value chain for large processers - PPT
   2b. Processing technologies and value chain for small scale and community processers - PPT
   3. Waste to wealth and environmental management - PPT - DOC
   4. Enhanced nutrition, food quality and hygiene - PPT
3:30 pm: Coffee
4:00 pm: Working groups cont.
5:20 pm: Wrap up - Graham Thiele
5:30 pm: Optional tour of IITA Cassava Processing Center

Thursday 6 OCT:
8:30 am: Plan for the day - Claude
8:45 am: Feedback group 1: Gari quality, standards and dry matter content - Dominique - Dufour
9:00 am: Q&A
9:15 am: Feedback group 2a: Processing innovation and value chain for large processers - Lateef Sanni
9:30 am: Q&A
9:45 am: Feedback group 2b. Processing technologies and value chain for small scale and community processers - Kolawole Adebayo - Thierry Tran
10:00 am: Q&A
10:15 am: Feedback group 3: Waste to wealth and environmental management - Iheanacho Okike
10:30 am: Coffee
11:00 am: Q&A
11:15 am: Feedback group 5: Enhanced nutrition, food safety and hygiene - Busie Maziya-Dixon
11:30 am: Q&A
11:45 am: Present draft Roadmap - Claude - PPT
12:00 pm: Key actions for Roadmap - Claude - Peter
12:15 pm: Workshop wrap up, vote of thanks and close - Peter


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