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Scaling flash drying of cassava starch and flour at small scale. PHT 003

Taborda A L., Chapuis A., Lukombo S.S., Adegbite S.A., Ojide M.G., Totin E., Abass A., Sartas M., Schut M., Becerra López-Lavalle L.A., Dufour D., Tran T.. 2021. In : Book of Abstracts - The 14th symposium of the International Society of Tropical Root Crops Africa Branch (ISTRC-AB). Lusaka : ISTRC-AB, 2 p.. Symposium of the international society of tropical root crops ¿ Africa Branch (ISTRC-AB)). 14, 2021-09-20/2021-09-24, Lusaka (Zambie).

Small-scale flash drying is a promising technology to meet the increasing demand for high- quality cassava flour (HQCF). The technology significantly reduces fungal and dust contaminations and reduces health risks for consumers. However, the configuration and operating conditions of existing flash dryers are sub-optimal, leading to high energy use and operating costs. Since 2013, the CGIAR Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) program in collaboration with local stakeholders across Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Colombia developed a numerical modelling method to design energy- and cost-efficient flash dryers, and proven its effectiveness through construction and testing of a pilot-scale dryer. Scaling Readiness was used to identify bottlenecks for the uptake of the improved small-scale flash dryer innovation to the private sector. Through fieldwork data collection and online semi- structured interviews, the analysis highlighted the role of training sessions and sustained technical support to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders ¿ and therefore, the increased uptake of flash dryer innovation. We also found a relationship between the economic value of theinnovation and stakeholders' willingness to adopt it across scales. For e ample, during the first six months after training, two cassava processors (out of seven) adopted innovations and increased their processing capacity by 23% and 50%, and profitability by 8% and 10%, corresponding to extra income of about $10,000/year/processor. We conclude that using the Scaling Readiness approach in collaboration with relevant private sector actors can improve uptake of agro-industrial innovations such as flash dryers, leading to gains in income and public health.

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