UNIDO opens cassava processing unit in the DRC
KIMPESE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 7 February 2013 - The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today opened a cassava processing unit in the town of Kimpese in the Bas-Congo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Minister of Industry and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Rémy Musungayi Bampale, and Japan’s ambassador to the DRC, Yoshimasa Tominaga.
“Today’s inauguration marks a milestone in UNIDO’s implementation of the project, ‘Creating an agro-industrial centre in the Bas-Congo’,” said Chakib Jenane, Head of UNIDO’s Agro-Industries Technology Unit.
He thanked Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for funding and supporting the project. “The agro-industrial centre is helping to develop food processing and boost agriculture development, and it serves as an important source of income generation, particularly for vulnerable groups, and especially women and youth,” he added.
Jenane said that since the centre opened in March 2011, more than 1,500 people had already received training in best manufacturing practices and food hygiene used in the processing of cassava and fruit. Of these, 80 per cent are women and 52 per cent young people. Trainees have also benefitted from an introductory course on entrepreneurship, management and marketing, and some have signalled their intention to start their own business.
“With the opening of the cassava processing unit – and soon a fruit processing unit - growers and producers will be able to have their produce turned into finished and packaged products, thereby adding value and ensuring quality. Products will be tested in the agro-industrial centre’s laboratory for quality control before being marketed,” said Jenane.
With backing from the local Centre d'Information et de Vulgarisation Agroalimentaire de Kimpese (CIVAK), the agro-industrial centre works in conjunction with twenty local non-governmental organizations.
For more information, please contact:
Head, UNIDO Agro-Industries Technology Unit