SAPEC Project takes on corporate social responsibility activity in Liberia
The IITA postharvest specialist of the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC) project is currently conducting a study in collaboration with the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), to ascertain the suitability of the IITA introduced cassava varieties to produce gari and fufu powder in Liberia. The yield of the products for each of the varieties was calculated and samples collected for laboratory analyses at the Food and Nutritional Sciences of IITA. The remaining products were then packaged and branded for distribution to orphanages as part of the IITA’s corporate and social responsibility (CRS) activity. The homes visited were the Children Ministry, Balama Bong County; Children Future Program Orphanage, Kakata, Margibi County; and Children Aid Liberia, Monrovia, Montserrado County.
The Children Ministry orphanage has more than 100 orphans, 85% of them females. Welcoming the IITA/CARI team, Mrs Elizabeth William, who manages the home, told the team about how she started and where she is at present. She added that there is a need for the government of Liberia to continue to visit and support orphanages. Mrs Christina Famata Blamo of the Children Future Program and Mr Victor Dahn of Children Aid Liberia, both appreciated the team’s visit, hoping that the government of Liberia will continue to support the orphanages. The Children Aid Liberia had 22 children with 6 males; the remaining are females. This home trains the children on soap making, tailoring, and baking. Some IITA training materials like the Training manual for the production of cassava products and the Cassava recipe book were shared with the home.
In addition to the 5-kg gari and fufu powders packaged in well-branded polypropylene woven sacks, a bag of salt, a pack of seasoning, and 2 rolls of bath soap were given to each of the homes.