By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
SMALL-SCALE farmers should intensify their efforts in growing cassava as it has potential to increase their revenue, Luapula Province Minister, Nickson Chilangwa, has said.
Mr Chilangwa said Government recognised the potential that cassava had to increase revenue for both farmers and the State.
He was speaking recently when Zambian Breweries flagged off its cassava project in Mansa, Luapula Province.
“We are launching this year’s cassava-buying harvest in line with government’s 7th National Development Plan that focuses on economic diversification, job creation through agriculture and manufacturing among other sectors,” Mr Chilangwa said.
He pledged to support Zambian Breweries in its cassava initiative as it was directly touching the lives of the ordinary Zambian farmers in the rural areas.
From inception in 2016, Zambian Breweries has bought more than 15,000 tonnes of dry cassava, giving a total income of over K21 million to the small-scale farmers.
After launching its 2019 cassava buying season at the start of October, Zambian Breweries has engaged directly with small-scale farmers working on the ground on smart agriculture practices.
Zambian Breweries Corporate Affairs Director, Ezekiel Sekele, said cassava was playing an important role across the entire value-chain process.
“We have added value to cassava to produce Eagle Lager, but at the same time through value addition we are also promoting industrialisation through cassava farming,” he said.
“Because of cassava we have built forward and backward linkages with farmers, transporters, aggregators, retailers, suppliers and service providers like Airtel and MTN,” he said.