Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

From Waste to Wealth: How a Rwandan Woman Transforms Cassava Scraps into Profit, Changing Lives and the Environment!

Alice Nyirasagamba, a 46-year-old entrepreneur, has achieved remarkable success by revolutionizing cassava waste management. Her company, Akanoze Nyamiyaga Ltd, initially focused on cassava flour production but later adopted the High-Quality Cassava Peels (HQCP) technology developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Through this innovative approach, Nyirasagamba has not only generated income but also created job opportunities for women in her community.

Cassava peels, a byproduct of cassava processing, were previously discarded or posed challenges for proper disposal. However, Nyirasagamba’s adoption of the HQCP technology has transformed these peels into a valuable resource for animal feed production. Her company now operates a processing unit that produces and sells HQCP mash to poultry farmers.

The HQCP mash is an excellent ingredient for animal feed, requiring no further processing. It can be directly fed to livestock or mixed with other feeds to enhance animal nutrition. In 2019, Nyirasagamba received training from IITA as part of the RUNRES project, which focused on recycling cassava peelings into animal feeds. Equipped with this knowledge, she successfully established a thriving business that bridges the gap between cassava farmers and poultry farmers.

Today, Nyamiyaga Akanoze is a well-known women-owned agro-processing company in Rwanda, recognized for its commitment to sustainability and quality. The company utilizes 12 to 15 tonnes of fresh cassava daily for the initial processing unit, while the generated waste is efficiently converted into animal feed ingredients. As the demand for HQCP mash continues to rise, Nyirasagamba faces challenges related to production capacity.

To meet the growing demand, her company now purchases around four tonnes of cassava peels per day, a significant increase from the initial 500 kilograms. Nyamiyaga Akanoze’s animal feed products cater to various livestock species, including poultry, cows, pigs, goats, and more. Not only does the company contribute to environmental protection by preventing the burning or improper disposal of cassava peels, but it also promotes a circular economy by repurposing these waste materials.

Through her enterprise, Nyirasagamba has already created employment opportunities for eight casual staff, consisting of five men and three women. Additionally, the company has generated approximately Rwf25 million (US$25,000) in revenue. Nyirasagamba’s journey exemplifies perseverance, continuous improvement, and the positive impact that can be achieved through innovative agricultural practices. Her work not only benefits the environment but also empowers women and fosters economic growth in Rwanda’s agro-processing sector.

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