Government Committed to Enhancing Cassava Production

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The government through the Ministry of Agriculture in Samfya district of Luapula province says it is committed to boosting cassava production by introducing new cassava varieties to boost yields by farmers.

Samfya District Senior Agricultural Officer Matthew Ndakasha said the ministry is also doing its best to sensitise farmers on new cassava cultivation methods.

As the Ministry of Agriculture through the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) has introduced new cassava varieties that have seen farmers recording better harvests in the district.

“The introducing of new cassava varieties like Mweru and Bangweulu has been positive as farmers can now produce 20 tonnes per hectare as compared to before the new cassava varieties were introduced were they used to produce 8 tonnes per hectare,” he said.

The Senior Agricultural Officer says the ministry is also training farmers in better ways of cultivating cassava and introducing them to better agronomic practices.

And a cassava grower Eugenia Bwalya of Katapa Women’s Development Group says the government should not relent in helping women in farming.

“The government must continue supporting us as women in order to change the welfare of our families,” she said.

Africa is the world’s largest cassava producing region and accounts for nearly 55 percent of the world’s cassava. However Africa’s yields are the lowest in the world standing at only 10 tonnes per hectares compared to 26 tonnes per hectare in India.

Cassava is one of the most grown crops in Samfya with almost every household growing the crop. Therefore it goes without saying that cassava will for a long time remain a major food security crop in Samfya.

By Jonas Miselo,
NAIS in Samfya District.

3 COMMENTS

  1. vote

    Cassava makes economic sense. It is a staple food for many people in certain parts of Northern Zambia. At the same time it is raw material for industry. The mistake successive governments have made is to approach cassava in a casual manner. A specialized Cassava research team is capable is building enough evidence to support huge investments. This is a challenge to cassava variety researchers followed by government and industry.

    • vote

      In West Africa its a staple food, by far more nutritous than maize and its poisonous green leaves are a specially in West African cuisuine. It is sold in pounded fresh form to neutralise the poison and is widely available in select shops in the UK. Cassava is also the main ingredient in Tortilla chips or crisps snacks which are Gluten-free, Corn-free, Dairy-free, Grain-free hence very healthy.

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