Strengthening linkages between small actors and buyers in
the Roots and Tubers sector in Africa


Roots and tubers account for 20 percent of calories consumed in Africa. Crops such as cassava, yam and potatoes are not only important for food security but also increasingly for income generation for farmers and small businesses, particularly for women.

Market demand for roots and tubers is expected to continue to grow over the next two decades. The main driver of this growth is increasing national and regional urbanization. Furthermore, in an effort to support smallholders to transition out of subsistence farming, governments in Africa are placing the commercialization of food staples at the center of national agricultural development strategies.

In this context, the African Roots and Tubers project is supporting the commercialization of root and tuber crops by linking small actors to domestic and regional buyers, with the overall objective of improving the livelihoods of small producers engaged in these value chains.

The project is being implemented from 2014-2018 in seven African countries:  Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda. It is funded by the European Union and is being implemented by FAO.

Project Outputs

  1. Existing national and regional strategies are aligned with initiatives supporting the development of improved regional market integration for the roots and tubers sector in African ACP regions.
  2. The competitiveness and viability of R&T value chains is strengthened by improving inclusive business models, sustainable intensification of production, and the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and farmer organizations.
  3. Access to information services and finance is improved for smallholders.
  4. Small producers have access to climatic risk management instruments.