The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has recorded another landmark by winning a grant of USD18.8 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to implement the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa Phase II (CAVA II).

According to the Project Director of CAVA II and University’s Director of Grants Management, Dr. Kolawole Adebayo, the grant will be administered from the University and will increase the incomes of at least, 200,000 smallholder farmers and community processors through their participation in profitable and sustainable value-added cassava chains in five sub-Saharan African countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. The project will be implemented by a team of world-class experts that have gained significant and joint experience in value chain development since 2008. The project is expected to cover a period of five years.

CAVA II is a product of several months of intensive research by academics, whose outcome would help immensely in the socio-economic transformation of the affected nations by stimulating employment and producing favorable balance of payments through a remarkable reduction in the importation of goods into the country. It will also improve rural incomes and productivity of small holders, especially women, by empowering

To achieve the objectives of CAVA II, a number of partners and sub-grantees will provide support and technical assistance including the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Food and Research Institute, Ghana; Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre; African Innovation Institute, Uganda and the Chancellor College, University of Malawi.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has congratulated the entire C:AVA family on the award of the grant. Elated at the news, Professor Oyewole said “let me assure you of the readiness of the University to make great success of this feat. It is time to get to work. The work has started”.