European Union Cooperation Officer Visit the Cassava Transformation Project Sites


The Cassava Transformation Project (CASTRAP) is making significant progress toward its goals and objectives in Southeast of Liberia. The Cooperation Officer for Rural development, Food security and Environment at the EU Delegation in Liberia, Ms. Geetrui Louwagie (PhD), visited project sites between March 27 and March 30, 2023, to interact with the project’s beneficiaries and evaluate the level of progress in the implementation of activities since her previous visit in March 2022. CASTRAP team, comprising its Monitoring and Evaluation officer, the Project Agronomist and, led by the Project Manager took Ms. Louwagie around selected projects sites in Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Grand Kru.

In Grand Gedeh, Ms. Louwagie visited and interacted with beneficiaries of Badio’s Farmers Association, a cooperative initiated and supported by CASTRAP, as well as Lydia’s Field Project, a privately operated cassava production and processing enterprise. In Grand Gedeh, Ms. Louwagie observed an ongoing processing training involving beneficiaries from Faith Temple Cooperative, Badio and Lydia’s Field Project who were being introduced and trained in the production of starch, super gari, high quality and food grade cassava flour, production of animal feed from cassava waste as well as fried cassava chips. She also inspected an ongoing construction of a mini processing center for Badio to ascertain progress of work.

The team visited the Sinoe chapter of the Liberian association for the disabled in Sinoe county and spoke with its members. The project recently enlisted the group, and they are already expanding their farm with better cassava cuttings and training in climate-smart good agricultural practices.  Since collaborating with CASTRAP, the association has been involved in a number of activities, including establishing its first village savings and loans association (VSLA). The team then traveled to Grand Kru to speak with the members of the Iloh district’s Naikplaikpo Multipurpose Farmers Association. Here, Ms. Louwagie and the project team held extensive discussions with the group’s members to understand how it intended to finance its cost-related activities, such as the purchase of ledgers, passbooks, and stationery, in order to better understand how it plans to maintain the gains made in the conduct of its VSLAs. It was also an opportunity to check on the progress at the site where its mini processing center was being built. On the 29th, the team traveled back to Sinoe and met with Nartimujee Agro-Resource (NAR) LLC, a private cassava nursery owner serving the county’s Kpanyan, Greenville, Sanquin, and Juarzon districts.

Ms Louwagie’s climaxed with the commissioning of the project’s first mini-processing centre for Panama Women for Future Associated in the Kpanyan District of Sinoe County as part of its integrated production, processing and commercialization (IPPC) system. The facility includes a processing area, a unit for creating recipes and food, a room for storing raw materials, and an office. It is also furnished with four grating plates, a tricycle, two heavy-duty dough presses, a 5 HP grating machine, and other processing aids like aprons, head covers, scales, knives, and barrels. Ms. Louwagie and Madam Victoria Cooper of the Ministry of Agriculture cut the sod to make way for the operationalization of the center. The beneficiaries were encouraged to make commercial use of the center in order to earn money and, hopefully, expand its business.