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May 11, 2008

Japan donates towards cassava processing plant in Zambia

The district commissioner of Chongwe region in Zambia, Conrad Tembo, has commended the Japanese government for providing $79,350 dollars towards the project of setting up of a Cassava Processing Plant in the Kanakantapa area.

Mr Tembo said, “Chongwe has many challenges which include high levels of poverty and hunger. This project is therefore of great significance because Government is committed to building the country’s food security capacity.” .

Mr Tembo called for increased cassava market creation in order for the cassava crop to be commercialised. He said most cassava farmers, especially small-scale, faced market problems and that it was pointless for them to continue producing the crop that has no market.

“Cassava is a crop that received very little attention until recently when the country started experiencing droughts. There is therefore need to create the market for this crop because most farmers, especially small-scale have been discouraged because they face market problems,” Mr Tembo said.

Mr Tembo hoped the project strategy would encourage the community participation as the project ownership was with community.

The Kanakantapa Women Association chairperson (KWA) Lilly Daka said her association was grateful for being given the mandate to manage the cassava-processing centre, adding that the introduction of the project would improve the household income levels for the Kanakantapa community.

Ms Daka said the success of the project would depend on the market, and appealed to stakeholders to teach farmers on how produce high quality cassava according to the requirements.

Zambia Daily Mail

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