Processor Led Model
In the Processor Led Model (PLM) component of the BASICS project, the emphasis is on establishing an innovative and viable commercial stem business model in Nigeria that serves high-quality cassava value chains anchored by industrial processors.
Led by Context Global Development, the component first works to implement a rapid propagation technology for improving the economic viability of stem production. Advances are then expected to garner processor buy-in by improving commercial growers’ and outgrowers’ supply of high-quality cassava roots that are high in starch. The PLM component further aims to integrate macro-propagation technology into the seed production chain, thereby lowering production costs, introducing new varieties into markets, and improving efficiencies that foster an economically sustainable cassava seed system. Nigerian cassava growers will experience greater return on investment, not only through higher yields and sales prices—cassava varieties higher in starch content fetch premium prices—but also through the use of clean, improved planting material.
BASICS is supporting efforts to multiply the most appropriate varieties that are in greatest demand according to the cassava value chain. Context Global Development leads the work for processors, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is doing the same for small farmers. In the PLM component, demand creation trials are used to identify “candidate” varieties that show potential for strong yield and desirable traits. Processors can then use the results of the trials to identify and confirm existing and new varieties. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) have joined with Context Global Development and CRS to conduct the trials. The project already works with several varieties currently in high demand, and can quickly adapt to changes in processor preferences.
The commercial stem business, led by at least two processors, will complete full implementation of the PLM component by 2019. By year three of the project, Context Global Development estimates that there will be at least 500 ha of commercial seed produced from 50 ha of foundation seed. Moreover, the foundation seed will be generated from 5 ha of breeder seed produced through Semi-Autotrophic Hydroponic, a rapid seed multiplication technology.
One of BASICS’s key priorities is to better define the business cases for both the PLM component and the Village Seed Entrepreneur component. Context Global Development and Sahel are supporting business analytics across different seed production models, and are developing business models (costs, revenues) under the PLM component. CRS, with some coaching from Context Global Development and Sahel to ensure consistency, is developing business models for cassava seed entrepreneurs.
The PLM component is working toward three primary outcomes:
- An innovative and viable rapid multiplication system for cassava stems is established on processors’ commercial farms.
- Adaptive multiplication management curriculum and training modules are developed to enable the multiplication system to be replicated with one other processor within the project’s time frame.
- A business case (profitability) is proved and the throughput (rapid propagation) of a processor-led multiplication system is optimized.