The 28th -30th of July proved to be an eventful couple of days as various cooperatives across Nkongle and Mungo Basin converged in Tombel to take part in the Training Workshop for Agricultural Cooperatives on Cassava Value Chain Development hosted by AIVDP. The workshop, headed by the Project’s Value Chain and Cooperative Specialist, was the second of a string of workshops to be held on Cassava Value Chain Development in upcoming months.
Aimed at actors within the cassava value chain (farmers, wholesalers, agents or traders) and processors, manufacturers of processing equipment, and retailers) the workshop’s objective was to build capacities of those in the cassava value chain by upgrading and managing cassava networks. The workshop was set to aid these actors in creating fruitful action plans for integrated production and marketing strategies related to cassava sub-sector.
Over the three day period, a selection of themes were covered, from Agricultural Value Chain Approaches, to Cassava Value Chain Analysis to Tools for Analysing Margins and Profitability. The majority turnout of female participants came as no surprise, as it is well known that women play a dominant role in cassava production in Cameroon. As such, the workshop hosted the module, Gender Participation in the Value Chain which outlined various factors affecting women’s involvement throughout the cassava value chain. The latter resonated with many female participants including Mme Janet, a member of Cassava Cooperative in Nkongle. ‘As a woman, I have learned that women are capable of so much more-that there are opportunities for us as processors and marketers of finished cassava products and not just as cassava producers. I believe that if we as women, apply the knowledge accumulated in this workshop, we can make our businesses profitable enough to support our households and more.’’
Pictured Above: Cooperative Members Listen Attentively as Resource Persons Conduct Workshop Sessions
Participants did not hold back as many engaged in the interactive sessions, standing to answer questions posed by presenters during various classes and participating in dynamic exercises such as calculating gross profits and cash flows for accounting modules. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect for many, was an exercise that required attendees to create Key Actions Plans for what their respective cooperatives were to accomplish after the attending the workshop.
Pictured Above: Various Attendees Forming and Presenting Key Action Plans for their Cooperatives
A step has been taken in the right direction by offering such a workshop as many have awakened to the endless possibilities that seemed futile before, a notion prevalent to many who attended the seminar. Mme Prudence from a cassava cooperative narrates ‘Now I know that I can grow cassava in larger quantities to process, market and sell them through our cooperative, not only locally- but to larger supermarkets outside the Region.’’ In addition Mr. Emmanuel, President of a Tombel based cassava cooperative added, ‘Before the Project, we had issues acquiring knowledge on cooperative management and encouraging cooperative memberships so AIVDP has played an important role in mobilizing cooperatives to increase their prospects.’’