• Root cause and effect

    Root cause and effect

    In Zambia, cassava production is on the cusp of a major boost.

    The starchy vegetable is a staple food source in many African nations, thanks to its hardy nature. But because production is typically labour intensive, it is generally cultivated by smallholder farmers as a subsistence crop. In Zambia, however, moves are under way to transform cassava into a commercial crop.

    The Southern African nation has introduced garri – flour derived from cassava – into the nation’s school feeding programme. The Zambian government is also collaborating with the Nigerian-based JR Farms to work on farming the root vegetable on a commercial scale. The partnership will result in high-value garri and cassava production, as well other products related to the value chain, such as starch and ethanol.

    The Zambia National Cassava Association, together with JR Farms, will also provide small-scale farmers with training, mentorship and support to grow their farms and production volumes.

    As reported by All Africa, JR Farms CEO Rotimi Olawale expects the project to promote ‘food security, empower rural farmers and women, reduce post-harvest loss and add value to cassava in Zambia’.

    25 June 2019
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images