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Post Harvest & Processing Programme

Post Harvest & Processing Programme

 

 

The Post-Harvest and Value Addition Department of  the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) was organized to buttress government effort in enhancing its food security scheme, through processing and adding values to locally grown food, such as roots and tubers, cereal, leguminous crops, leafy vegetable,  etc.

Cassava is considered as the second most staple crop in Liberia,   It is an economic crop which is used in household food security, ceremonies, nutritional diversification, income generation, and employment. cassava is mainly utilized at the household level where it is consumed as boiled with various sources.

The goal of Value chain is to enhance food security by identifying action that could be taken by major stakeholders as well as donors, and government to increase the production, processing, and distribution of staple food as well as raising rural income in Liberia.

Composition of the Department

a. Post-Harvest Technology and Food processing..

 Focus on Food security.

Food security in its totality is vital in an agricultural environment which will enhance the availability of food at all times. For many people, food insecurity is transitory, seasonal, or temporarily caused by unexpected factors it focuses on three main elements.

ü  Food availability

ü  Access

ü  Utilization

Constraints associated with cassava processing.

ü  Lack of processing knowledge and skills.

ü  Lack of processing machines

ü  Lack of improved processing facilities.

Cassava processing at CARI

Cassava   is processed in the both traditional and semi modern methods using  local and industrial cassava of different varieties. It is processed for many reasons. These include:

ü  To increase shelf life of roots and prevent spoilage or food loss.

ü  To reduce bulkiness, ease transportation and reduce the cost,

ü  To remove the toxic compounds in cassava.

ü  To create varieties of foods with acceptable taste, aroma, and texture.

ü  To produce industrial raw materials

 Cassava processing operations

There are many operations involved in processing cassava roots.

Harvesting, sorting, peeling, washing, grating, dewater, pressing, re-grate ring, roasting, cooling, sieving, and packaging, Or,  fermenting,  washing, sieving, pressing, and sun drying.

These processing operations are combined in different sequence to make different products such as gari, fufu powder, starch, tapioca, cassava chips, HQCF (High quality cassava flour.) and cassava based confectionaries.

 Products obtained from cassava

·         Gari

·         Fufu (white $ yellow)

·         High quality cassava flour

·         Tapioca

·         Starch

Rice used as confectionaries at CARI.

Besides the traditional methods of boiling or cooking rice in Liberia, the use of rice flour in bakery and confectionary is relatively low to food processors Rural and urban households are unaware of the enormous potentials of rice flour. Research conducted at the Africa Rice center has shown that improved Oriza sativa and the NERICAS rice varieties developed for various agro ecologies in SSA are high in protein, and essential micronutrients such as iron and zinc.

Locally improved varieties in Liberia, such as Lac 23 red and white, Suakoko 8 resistant to iron toxicity, Rok 5. These local varieties are also processed into flour used as bread, and other confectionaries. Presently the post-harvest department has organized and conducted series of trainings as a way of motivating rural as well as urban women and food processors to adopt the new value chain process of rice in Liberia.

Rice is processed into the following.

ü  Flour, cakes, Juices and drinks, Pies, Doughnuts, Cookies, Biscuits,    

The Department has been conducting post-Harvest training for the following organizations.

ü  RICE and Cassava farmers.

ü  Food Processors.

 

 

 

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02 February 2015
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The Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) located at Suakoko, some 180 km north‐west of Monrovia was created in 1980 from the Central Agricultural Experiment Station (CARES) to conduct both adaptive and applied research in agriculture.Read more

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