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Zambia avoids Nigeria, sends team to Ghana to learn Garri processing

Nigerian industry analysts are still confused on why upon the fact that Nigeria is the leading global producer of Cassava and garri, a Zambian trade delegation recently jumped the country and went to Ghana to learn about the garri processing sector and the entire cassava value-chain production.
Ghana’s economy is currently the fastest in growth, cruising at 8.1 per cent and its economic diversification to agriculture exports and petroleum sector advancement.
Garri is a cassava root, dried and grounded into flour and used to prepare meals that serve as a cheaper carbohydrate source for most people in Sub-Sahara Africa.
It is a creamy-white granular flour with slightly fermented flavour and sour slightly taste made from fermented, gelatinized fresh cassava tubers that are washed, peeled, mashed, fermented and fried to produce the coarse-grained product.
Business Hilights Ghana Bureau chief gathered that the target of the mission is to replicate it in their country and further enable the Zambian government to introduce the garri meal as part of the menu for children of the School Feeding Programme in that country.
It was not clear if Zambia considered the fact that efforts of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh in driving Nigeria’s economic diversification in agriculture are yet to be seen in the cassava sub-sector as observed in rice and yam farming or the apparent displacement of several root-tuber farmers by marauding herdsmen especially in Delta and Edo state the main area for Cassava farming.
The Value Chain Development Specialist of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) in Zambia, Mr. Charles Mulombwa, who was part of the seven-member delegation on a 10-day trade mission in Ghana, told Ghana News Agency (GNA) weekend during a visit to the Food Research Institute (FRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Accra that they are in Ghana to learn garri production.
He said the Zambian Government was piloting garri processing among 500 women-groups in Zambia and will later scale up production to all the country.
In her remarks, leader of the delegation and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Republic of Zambia, Ms Kayula Siame, said the working visit to the FRI is to interact with the scientists and learn how the Institute was helping to develop Ghana’s cassava production sector.
Elated Siame described the visit to Ghana as very important to her country, offering the delegation, the opportunity to interact and learn better experiences in Ghana’s industrialisation processes.
She said the trade delegation programme, fall within a project being run under Zambia’s Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, which was hosting a skill development and entrepreneurship project under its Citizens Empowerment Commission for the women and the youth in Zambia.
According to her, “This project has in it, a very key aspect which relates to the commercialisation of cassava as well as supporting SMEs and developing industry.
“So we are here in Ghana to learn some of the lessons that we can get from the country in terms of how you have commercialise cassava, how you have supported SMES, and how it has helped the country in contributing to food security” Ms Siame said.
She also revealed that her delegation was visiting a number of institutions, agencies and government Ministries that were in one way, or the other, linked with the commercialisation of the cassava value chain.