Njala University, located in the southern district of Bo, is Sierra Leone’s foremost center of excellence for agricultural research.
Cassava is one of the major staple foods for Sierra Leoneans, second to rice. For many people in major cassava production districts of the country, it is the major staple. The most popular meals made out of it are ‘garri’ and ‘foo foo’, which are common in many West African countries. There is also Cassava Bread made out of the tuber plant.
Cassava tuber is usually either boiled or eaten raw. The leaves are an even more popular delicacy, served with several dishes. “Other Countries are making millions of dollars from the proceeds of the various end products of cassava and Sierra Leone cannot afford to be left behind with our vast arable and fertile lands,” the Minister said.
Currently there are six cassava processing centers across Sierra Leone, established under the Cassava Value Chain Development Project in the Ministry of Agriculture.
It’s all part of an initiative that began in 2009 by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) designed to ease the burden of processing, create additional markets for cassava products and more importantly generate wealth in local communities through increased cassava production, the Agriculture Minister maintained.