A cassava processing machine and solar drier were procured in September with funding from AFEW. Both machines were delivered to the forest and officially handed over to the Songa Mbele self-help group in October.
The group started harvesting and selling their cassava crop in September, the raw cassava was sold to the forest adjacent communities for 20/- a piece.
Using the machines, the cassava crops are now being processed to make flour, which can be used for making cakes, chapati, ugali and other staple foods. The group plan to offer an area for the local communities to learn about cassava planting and processing. These machines will be made available to all.
Members of the group have already been approached by a number of small businesses, which are interested in outsourcing the various cassava products. They plan to sign agreements for selling the cassava products and continue to provide an alternative source of living to the local communities.