Case study

The cob model: aggregating maize on the cob

An innovative solution to address aflatoxin contamination and source high quality maize

Published by
Palladium / Swisscontact

Premium maize agro-processors in Rwanda still resort to importing maize at a cost premium as their demand is unmet despite significant local production.

This is largely due to poor post-harvest handling and weak aggregation networks amongst smallholder producers which prevents buyers from accessing the local produce. Rwanda is also particularly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination of grains.

IMSAR supported a Rwandan start-up, Kumwe Karvest, to improve its Cob Model which had been introduced to manage the post-harvest process that smallholder famers are unequipped to handle.

The Model consists in aggregating maize on the cob instead of grain, which is then brought to an industrial facility where it is professionally shelled, cleaned and dried within 24 hrs, leading to top quality maize with minimal rejections from buyers.

This brief describes the Cob Model and how IMSAR helpted to strengthen and scale it up.