KALRO helps farmers to commercialise cassava in Makueni County

Mbuvo Cassava Commercial Village (MCCV) was the teams’ 2nd destination while the sites included the sorghum and the cassava cuttings production farm at the Kiboko Katumani sub-Centre.

MbuvoCassava Commercial Village was provided with a hammer mill by KALRO (the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization) under the auspices of the ASAL-APRP on 29 April 2011 and will be used to mill cassava flour for the residents of Mbuvo in Kathonzweni, Makueni County.

The group started as an umbrella of 10 groups with a total membership of 560 farmers with an aim of improving members’ incomes through production and commercialisation of cassava. The mill initially ran on diesel but later on electricity, after the group acquired its own land for smooth operations, among other benefits.

The group was given the mill due to its uptake and out scaling of cassava technologies. The group encouraged farmers to increase acreage under the crop with an aim of commercialisation. This has made it possible for the group to attract younger members and hence created employment.

The Chairman of the group who is also the area Administrative Chief Mr Mutuku Masyuki said that the mill has largely contributed towards the group’s other activities like livestock keeping (including poultry) and processing cassava into various products for sale. The group has also increased production of processed cassava products.

The Group which initially received planting material at subsidised cost and agronomic recommendations from KALRO Katumani has since opened a bank account in which it transacts with its members and partners. It has also acquired  a mobile chipper, land, and constructed a building where the new mill is. Some of its affiliate groups have cassava under irrigation.

Other achievements include construction of a hall to hold its meetings and can also be rented, acquisition of a computer to ease record keeping and accession, connection to electricity.