BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
LUAPULA Province will by 2025 be transformed into a food basket as the area’s development can be traced by road expansion works, area Permanent Secretary Felix Phiri has said.
Dr Phiri said the Province had recently seen a number of investors taking advantage of the province’s natural resources and cassava.
He was speaking recently when the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and the representatives from Zambian Breweries and Musika paid a courtesy call on him at his office.
“The benefits include recent investment in bio-fuel and other commodities. What this means is that we need to take advantage of various partnerships that are coming to the province.
“We encourage our Members of Parliament to pass laws and legislation that are supportive of business ventures, particularly peasant farmers who we are trying to move out of poverty,” he said.
And Zambian Breweries corporate affairs director Ezekiel Sekele called on other companies to invest in cassava to grow the market and benefit the small-scale famers in the region.
Mr Sekele said there was much cassava could be used for, from clear beer production to energy, flour, glue, medicinal purposes, ethanol and even mealie meal production.
Working together, Mr Sekele said, through mutually beneficially partnerships would create more employment and sustain livelihoods of many people.
“Zambian Breweries carried out an ambitious cassava stakeholder engagement workshop in Lusaka earlier this year, which attracted representatives from the manufacturing and mining sectors, researchers, farmers’ groups, government and financial institutions.
“The objective was to widen the market of buyers and create value addition for the raw material. This in turn will have the advantage of benefitting the small scale farmers with more income,” said Mr Sekele.