KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
CASSAVA farming is expected to be accelerated in Luapula Province following Zambian Breweriesâ€™ move to buy over 1,000 tonnes of cassava over the next six months.
According to a statement issued on Friday, Zambian Breweries is expected to source cassava for the production of Eagle lager from the farmers, thus providing readily available market for the crop.
â€œThe initiative by the brewing company to source cassava from small-scale farmers is part of its effort to support the development of the cassava value chain with a focus on the commercialisation of the crop, as well as increasing local market linkages with farmers,â€ the statement read.
The company has already started buying cassava from farmers through its agent GroAfrica.
â€œOur dream is to bring people together for a better community and country. We believe that the sustainable growth of the business is tied to the prosperity of our people. Once our people prospers then can our business manage to grow and register profits,â€ said Zambian Breweries corporate affairs director Ezekiel Sekele.
The statement also states that Zambian Breweries is exploring possibilities of setting up a processing plant in Mansa in an effort to secure cassava from small-scale farmers and use it in the production of Eager lager.
â€œWith the prospect of a guaranteed market for the crop, farmers in the province have offered to bolster cassava production through acquiring more land for farming activities to increase cassava production for both consumption and commercial purposes,â€ Zambian Breweries says in a statement.
Commenting on the development, Mansa district commissioner Lloyd Chikaba said the province has a lot of cassava and the move by Zambian Breweries to buy the commodity will go a long way in boosting cassava production in the area.
â€œWe have enough land, and all farmers, including chiefs, have been calling for a cassava market, so we are ready to give Zambian Breweries land where it can even do an out-grower scheme. In order to enhance value addition to our cassava, it would be important to establish a processing plant here in Mansa,â€ he said.
KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka