Focus on small farmers
In its 2017 report released on September 5, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, an organization dealing with agricultural products in Africa, highlighted the crucial role of small farmers, who create jobs and support sustainable economic growth.
With that in mind, Zhang has given dozens of training workshops to more than 200 small local farmers throughout his mission. During these workshops, he was able to demonstrate how to operate machines for the extraction of starch and production of vermicelli. But beyond these technical skills, Zhang wants to highlight the economic value of cassava processing by demonstrating its costeffectiveness, in order to encourage small farmers to enter the field.
According to traditional practices of Mozambican farmers, once harvested, cassava is dried in the sun in order to be preserved. But despite this, the plant rots quickly. “If we transform cassava into starch using machines, its shelf life can be extended drastically. This method has nothing but advantages,” said Anabela Zacarias, head of agro-food services at IIAM.
But for Zhang, the most rewarding aspect of his mission is to see small farmers like Petro Tomo adopt new skills and methods to improve their production. He said he would gladly support Tomo in his future projects, providing him with all the technical and material help he might need.
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