The research areas are defined by work packages which are the building blocks of the project structure. They give a breakdown of the different work areas and define the steps necessary for their completion. Each work package aims to achieve one or more of the project objectives. The 'Gratitude' project is divided into 8 work packages as follows:
Value Chain Assessment and Management WP1
The overall objective of this work package (WP) is to ensure that technologies developed by Gratitude concerning waste products and ways of reducing losses, are commercially viable for key actors in the value chain for yam and cassava products. This work package therefore seeks to evaluate value chains for cassava and yams (fresh and processed) from the farm to the consumers. Specific emphasis will be placed on understanding the levels and causes of post-harvest losses and identifying and evaluating alternative options for reducing such losses. It will also document for specific cases the levels of waste generated, examine related value chains for these products and the impact of developing these alternative value chains.
The objectives will be achieved by conducting value chain analysis and market research in the target countries. Target areas will be selected in each country on the basis of importance of the crops and opportunities to maximize lesson learning across the project. Existing value chains for cassava and yam in the target countries will be evaluated and the different roles of men and women analysed. The project will identify options for reducing waste and assess levels of waste generated. It will also develop an understanding of household decision making, benchmark the different options for reducing post-harvest losses and model the likely impacts of implementation of the proposed interventions. Finally this work package will analyse the impact of greater cassava and yam availability on price and competitiveness.
Reduced Post-Harvest Losses of Fresh Produce WP2
The objective of work package 2 is to reduce losses in the fresh yam value chain and hence improve food security and increase incomes with a focus on small-holder farmers. In parts of West Africa 10-50% of tubers are lost during on-farm storage (Amusa et al., 2003) and a further 10-40% during transport due to damage and rots (Rees and Bancroft, 2003). Technologies for the reduction of post-harvest losses of fresh yam will be developed and validated. This will focus on practices to control tuber sprouting, water loss and rotting which are major causes of loss. Losses on-farm would be reduced by improved storage structures and post-harvest practices to reduce sprouting and improve wound-healing. This would also provide tubers of better quality to withstand damage during transport.
The objectives will be achieved by a combination of technological expertise (research institutes), in-country application and assessment of these technologies with partners. Surveys will be conducted in target regions to identify key yam varieties/species utilized, the ideal on-farm storage duration required and to confirm current levels of tuber loss. Wound healing efficiency will be determined and strategies will be developed to optimize the curing of yam tubers. Storage structures will be tested, as well as the improved technologies at the grass roots level.
Work package 2 leader: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana. Contact: Nanam Tay Dziedzoave firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternative Market Development WP3
The overall objective of this work package is to explore the development of new products from the fresh produce so that physical and economic losses in the value chain are reduced and value is added. Technology systems that produce processed cassava and yam products, and alternative novel markets, will be developed and validated in order to reduce levels of post-harvest loss and provide increased incomes for small-holder farmers.
Specifically, this work package aims to improve the systems for drying of cassava and yam, increasing the potential to produce higher quality products, with lower levels of loss and more efficient use of fuel.
The key issue in this work package will be the development of viable new processed products for yam and cassava that provide options for households to sell their produce for reasonable prices and result in reduced physical or economic losses. The technology from the C:AVA project should be easily adaptable to yams, of which currently 60% of the fresh product is being wasted. This work package will develop methods for high quality yam flour production at a pilot-scale level examining processing options suitable for use by SMEs. It will also assess the potential for making high quality cassava flour, and the nutritional composition of high quality yam flour. Storage and packaging characteristics will be assessed, and methods for scaling up yam flour production will be developed. New dryer technologies will also be assessed and new markets for High Quality Cassava Flour will be developed. This work package will examine new uses of HQCF at laboratory scale in each country, evaluate market potential for innovations, and establish pilot level chains to validate the innovative new products. There will also be specific innovation for the use of high quality cassava flour in the production of a fermented beverage.
Adding Value to Waste Products WP4
The overall objective of this work package is to generate value added products from the waste products arising from cassava and yam value chains in order to increase food security at the grass roots level. In addition, at a higher level, this work package aims to increase business opportunities and reduce the damage done to the environment by providing new solutions to enable use of the waste. These wastes can result either from the fresh roots due to their perishable nature or from the processing of cassava and yam (eg, peels, waste water, waste brewing etc). This will lead to expansion or opening of new market opportunities for new products (particularly those that feed into the human food supply chains) and added value products generated from the waste of cassava and yam.
Specifically this work package will develop technologies for making food products from waste, either in the form of food products, animal feeds or mushrooms made from composting waste. Technologies will be developed and assessed at the household level, and at the pilot scale level. The potential for enterprise development will also be assessed based on these technologies.
The objectives will be achieved by a combination of technological expertise (research institute), in-country application and assessment of these technologies with partner firms and organisations. Value chains for the products developed from waste are assessed in WP1.
Work package 4 leader: Wageningen Agricultural University, Plant Research International, Netherlands. Contact: Anton Sonnenberg email@example.com
Food Safety, Quality and Compliance WP5
The overall objective of this work package is to ensure that the new higher value products from waste are safe by developing appropriate food safety and quality management systems for processing at the household and SME levels. This is important to ensure products comply with food safety criteria and meet appropriate food laws and regulations.
Specifically, the objectives are to undertake baseline assessments and evaluate the prerequisites for food safety. Food safety management systems based on HACCP suitable for the household level and SMEs, will be developed and a follow-up survey will be undertaken of the food safety management systems in terms of safety and economic factors.
The food safety approach will differ according to the scale of the enterprise because the capacity and capability will vary. At the household level of production, capital investment will be minimal and the householders, particularly women, may have a larger scale of operation and access to more resources.
Demonstration of Technologies with Beneficiaries WP6
The overall objective of work package 6 is to support the demonstration of results and outcomes of research activities developed in rural settings or in collaboration with SMEs. Lessons from these demonstration activities will serve to support wider dissemination of the technologies developed.
Specific objectives are to demonstrate technologies suited to the household level to support improved food security (eg, improved yam storage), as well as technologies suited to SMEs to support income generation and the strengthening of the food chain. This work package also aims to demonstrate technologies suited to larger enterprises to support income generation at the farm level and strengthen the food chain specifically in the context of reduced post-harvest losses.
From the results obtained in WP3 and WP4 of products developed, a minimum of three ‘best bet’ products will be selected for further dissemination. The Gratitude project will provide a platform for south-south interaction and engagement between the project partners and other potential parties through the web. Improved storage technologies of yam, and new products will be demonstrated as well as the higher value products obtained from waste derived in work package 4.
Dissemination and Support to Replication WP7
The overall objective of this work package is to disseminate knowledge gained and lessons learned from the validation of the technologies to enable replication elsewhere and hence wider scale impact. This will involve consolidation of knowledge, packaging and disseminating information and training materials arising from the research and development activities of the project.
Specific objectives are to develop a strategic approach to information dissemination, which will inform major stakeholders about the project objectives, approaches, partnerships and outcomes. Also, this work package aims to package and share information on options and techniques for reducing post-harvest losses of yam, to consolidate experience and develop training packages on the reduction of post-harvest losses, and to support training in business skill development, marketing of new products, food safety and quality assurance. Furthermore, work package 7 will aim to promote lesson learning and information exchange among all partners and with a wider group of international stakeholders.
The objectives of this work package will be achieved by developing a communication, dissemination and training strategy to identify and prioritise target audiences and their information requirements relating to the technical, business and policy areas addressed within the project. Training materials and guidelines will be designed and prepared to respond to identified capacity development and training needs on utilization of crop wastes for new products and the reduction of losses, targeted for different stakeholder audiences. Awareness will be raised of the project and its achievements through outreach using a range of media and a dissemination workshop will be hosted with major stakeholders.
Management and Monitoring and Evaluation WP8
This work package is designed to ensure proper coordination of scientific, human and financial resources and good coordination and integration between the work package activities. Work package 8 will ensure the appropriate functioning and effectiveness of the project management committee and that reporting to the EU is full and timely. Monitoring and Evaluation activities are to be undertaken to ensure delivery of project milestones.
Led by NRI, this work package is related to the coordination and management of project activities. It will achieve its objectives by establishing lines of communication, developing and monitoring consortium partnerships, organizing scientific and administrative meetings, and monitoring ethical issues. A project monitoring and evaluation system will be developed to assess project progress and impact, and changes in post-harvest losses of direct project beneficiaries will be monitored.