Zaitun’s story


Amugu Emutu Zaitun has been a farmer in Uganda for 40 years. She has grown a variety of crops but is now focusing on producing Cassava.

Zaitun said: "Before I got trained, I used to plant cassava not in rows but just locally spaced lines. But when I got trained, we're trained how to cut a stem, how to cut the nodes, and also methods of planting, that there's planting horizontally, vertically or slanting whereby you'll get high yields.

"So, we found adding value to cassava was good. Number 1 you get clean cassava for eating, for making different types of breads."

Zaitun used to have one garden, but since her training on cassava production she has taken on more and also trained others about processing and baking the root.

She said: "My livelihood has improved. I have enough skills and knowledge in managing cassava in many areas. I have also managed to construct, to move to a better house. I have also put myself so much in savings and credit, because the trainings we used to have, where we were linked by CAVA to train other associations, the money I get, I save. When I save, it multiplies, by the end of the year, I get good money and I could buy my animals. And those animals helped me to raise up the money to construct this house.

"Through CAVA also, I managed to educate my boy up to University level. Now my livelihood is improved, we're peaceful, we do things in a unique way. There's happiness, yes. A sense of understanding, a sense of unity, and peace."

CAVA is the Cassava Adding Value for Africa project, one of two award-winning projects run by the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich.

The work has been recognised on the list of the UK's best breakthroughs of the past century.

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