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Philafrica Foods acquires majority stake in DADTCO to promote cassava production in sub-Saharan Africa

Centurion, 31 October 2017 – Philafrica Foods, one of the largest food processing companies in South Africa, has announced its acquisition of a majority stake in The Dutch Agricultural Development & Trading Company’s (DADTCO) cassava processing activities. DADTCO has pioneered an innovative mobile cassava processing technology that is having a major positive impact on Africa’s smallholder farmers.

With existing operations in Mozambique and advanced projects in West Africa, Philafrica Foods is looking to leverage DADTCO’s technology and its management team’s extensive experience to scale cassava processing in sub-Saharan Africa (“SSA”).

“Philafrica’s vision is to transform the lives of millions of African smallholder farmers by creating market demand by means of large-scale food processing. DADTCO’s vision to unleash the potential of cassava throughout Africa, the technical expertise of its management team, and innovative mobile processing technology, align perfectly with our vision and values,” said Roland Decorvet, CEO of Philafrica Foods.

Cassava is a root crop grown in tropical climates – in Africa it is the second largest source of carbohydrates after maize. “Currently eight of the top 10 producers globally are in SSA, with a total of 145 million MTs – 54% of global production – produced annually in Africa.”

There are many advantages to cassava, amongst these being that it needs less water to grow than maize and rice, making it an attractive crop for smallholder farmers, and it can remain underground for more than two years after maturity, reducing the need for large storage facilities.

Dadtco developed an entirely new product called Cassava Starch Flour® which is a perfect substitute for wheat flour but also corn-starch in the food processing, baking and beverage industries, which are poised to grow as the African middle class increases. It also offers a non-gluten and grain-free alternative to traditional products usually containing wheat, thus catering to an increasingly health-conscious population.

“We see massive opportunity in cassava as currently less than 5% of total production in Africa is industrially processed at scale,” said Decorvet.

While the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Decorvet said that the company will actively pursue close collaboration with donors to make the mobile cassava processing technology available to as many smallholder farmers in SSA as possible.

Philafrica Foods is supported by the AFGRI Group, an investment holding company focused on food and agriculture with an underlying ethos as an enabler of food security in line with the Philafrica vision.

DADTCO invites you to have a look around our new partner's website: www.philafricafoods.com


Bakers enthusiastic about DADTCO's Cassava Cake

Very good results with 20% replacement of wheat flour by cassava cake

DADTCO produces cassava cake for the breweries. This cake is a semi wet product and can also be used the bakeries where it replaces part of the wheat flour in bread. We experimented with our semi wet cassava cake in Mozambique. At the end of the day the baker will add water to the flour to make dough and with the cassava cake s/he simply uses less water. The results were great, the bakers show to be keen in using cassava cake in their bread as the consumers reacted very positive. People are used to the smell and taste of cassava as cassava is a major staple.Though, if you wouldn’t know you wouldn’t recognize the cassava in the bread as only 20% is substituted. Still, subconscious it gives a comforting feeling. At the end of the day wheat flour is coming from countries with colder climates and cannot get adapted to tropical conditions as with cassava you are at home!


DADTCO signs Memorandum Of Understanding with CAPEF

In January 2017 DADTCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of one or more DADTCO Mobile Cassava Starch Flour/Starch II plant(s) with The Chamber of Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock and Forests of Cameroon (CAPEF).

CAPEF, as a matter of policy wishes to promote value addition and industrialization of commercially viable agricultural produce in the Republic of Cameroon. It also recognises the vast potential for industrialisation through agro-processing of the cassava crop abundantly grown in all of Cameroon. A study of cassava processing projects in Africa has shown to CAPEF that the only successful business model at this moment, is the fully mobile cassava processing technology established by the Dutch company DADTCO B.V. CAPEF therefore wishes to kick start the creation of a successful food grade cassava processing sector through the establishment of 1 (one) or more DADTCO Mobile Cassava Starch Flour/ Starch II Plant(s) in Cameroon.






Regional CTA Forum on Cassava in Central Africa

Semi-industrial processing of cassava: example of DADTCO Business Model

CTA organized a Forum on cassava from 6-9 December in Yaounde, Cameroon. http://www.cta.int/en/news/regional-forum-on-cassava-in-central-africa.html

'While cash crops, livestock and grains continue to play an important economic role in the Central African region, roots and tubers in general, and cassava in particular, appear to be the agricultural crops with the greatest potential in terms of improving productivity, creating added value and developing regional trade. Contributing directly to the general objectives of food and nutrition security and the reduction of poverty in the region, cassava still broadly constitutes the basis of the human diet and has significant potential with regard to animal feed and industrial processing.'

DADTCO was represented by both our CEO Peter Bolt and Mozambique's Supply Chain Manager Teofilo Chilenge. We were kindly invited to give a presentation on our Business Model. Click here for the presentation



Interview with our shareholder

Peter Kütemann was interveiwed by Monacolife.net

Monaco Impact is an association of which our major shareholder Mr. Peter Kütemann is the initiator. Monaco Impact, through the organization of fact-finding meetings and other events, puts potential donors in touch with charitable organizations known to be seeking funds for clearly defined projects selected on the basis of their social impact and a clear and transparent budget. Monaco Impact identifies best practices and innovative approaches of which DADTCO is one. Its focus is on health, drinking water, agriculture, education, gender equality, post-conflict development and income generation (micro-credit projects).

Read the interview here.



H.E. President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique impressed by DADTCO

DADTCO present at Mozambique's Trade Fair FACIM

The Feira Comercial e industrial de Maputo or FACIM (Commercial and Industrial Fair of Maputo) is the economic pulse of Mozambique. All companies active are asked to participate and display their services or products at the fair which is visited by tens of thousands of professionals from both in and outside the country. Although already held for 52 times it was the second consecutive time that DADTCO Mandioca Mozambique was present and that did not go by unnoticed. DADTCO was represented by Mirza Azido from our Nampula operations and even the President of Mozambique His Excellency Filipe Nyusi stopped at our pavilion to be informed about our activities. He was impressed by our commitment to farmers which Mirza told him. It was not the first time that the President learns about our activities and the role we play in the development of the cassava value chain.

(Also in the picture the Ambassador of The Netherlands Mrs. Pascal Grotenhuis)



Feasibility visit in Cameroon

Cassava processing in Muyuka Council Cameroon

Cameroon is one of the countries with the highest cassava production per capita in Africa. Especially in the South-West of Cameroon on the rich volcanoes’ soils at the foothills of Mount Cameroon. People know how to make all types of fermented and grilled cassava products as gari and fufu all made for home consumption and the little surplus is sold in the market as for instance at the moment when the schools are starting and uniforms have to be bought for the children in order to attend school. There is no industrialisation in this area and cassava is sold when a family is in need of money. Because cassava is the single crop that can be harvested year-round, it functions as a bank where the money is kept in the soil until something is needed, only small amounts are harvested at a time during the year. 

In the week of 27th of August DADTCO carried out a feasibility study in Muyuka council in the South West of Cameroon on the invitation of the council’s Mayor. There is a lot of cassava and the yields because of the fertile soils are high. Many farmers received improved stem material and they are eager to sell the surpluses of which there are many. During the feasibility a Memorandum of Understanding was signed Not only did we look at cassava but the largest agricultural companies in Cameroon, CDC who cultivates amongst other thousands of Hectares of sweet banana are very interested in our newest piece of equipment the mobile dryer. They want to make banana flour which is in demand for the preparation of baby food. DADTCO can make the difference and tests will be carried out to see if not only cassava starch flour but also banana flour is a possibility.



Celebrating the Cassava Festival in Nampula, Mozambique

The annual Cassava Festival organised by the Government was hosted by DADTCO at its operating premises in Murrupula in Nampula Province

The Cassava Festival was a celebration of the robust crop and the economic importance for the area. The Cassava Value Chain from small holder farmer to Impala Beer in Mozambique, is a unique one. Monopolistic control over a promising raw material as cassava can lead to inequalities in the value chain as a whole, as often seen in other countries. Fortunately, this is not the case in the cassava value chain in Mozambique. The cooperation between Farmers, DMM and CDM is a terrific example for other African countries desirous of copying the very successful Impala project, produto nacional! 

We have not yet seen the end of the cassava potential. The crop is Africa’s best kept secret, its starch is of excellent quality and more and more advanced applications based on cassava starch are coming to light. Read the published article in Canal de Moçambique



African Transformation Forum (ATF) 2016

On request DADTCO contributed at the ATF organised by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET)

ACET organised the ATF2016 with the objectives to facilitate knowledge sharing and peer learning across global and African luminaries from the public and private sectors and to launch the Coalition for Transformation in Africa – a new leadership network organized in chapters, each addressing a specific thematic area. DADTCO did a presentation in the brainstorm session on issues relating to Africa’s agricultural and overall economic transformation.





Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture (GFIA)

DADTCO was invited to give a presentation on the expansion of shelf life of cassava

Dalberg and the Rockefeller Foundation asked DADTCO to participate in the exhibition on GFIA and give a short presentation at one of the conferences. Dalberg recently issued a report on the potential of cassava processing in various African countries. DADTCO contributed with a presentation 'Technologies and concepts promoting the shelf-life of cassava'. From the Q & A session that followed, it was clear that the delegates rated the DADTCO technology as the clear front-runner in promoting cassava shelf life.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with the Rockefeller Foundation at the exhibition to promote cassava processing in Africa.