Agriculture Minister Hon. Michael Katambo discusses cassava with Zambian Breweries director of corporate affairs Ezekiel Sekele. Picture by Alex Mukuka.

Agriculture Minister Hon. Michael Katambo visited cassava farmers in Luapula Province this week to launch the Zambian Breweries Smart Agriculture under the cassava farming project.

The Minister also took time to learn about the project ad hailed the company for having made the right decision to invest in the area and empower small-scale farmers. He noted this was in line with the Government’s agenda under the 7NDP.

To welcome the Minister were the elated Mansa residents who turned out in numbers for the official launch of the Chembe project, which incorporates a high-tech cellphone-based “block chain” system designed to enhance traceability and purchase of high-yield cassava.

Zambian Breweries launched the cassava scheme in 2017 and now buys cassava from over 4,000 farmers from Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces of Zambia. The crop is a key ingredient in the manufacture of the affordable Eagle Lager.

The launch of the block chain project comes after consultants contracted by the company from South Africa, Belgium and the United States of America visited and engaged the farmers earlier in the year in Mansa.

The project, which runs under a system called BanQu, will use GPS to locate farmers, enable farmers to be identified by agents, and facilitate transactions and communications to verify transactions.
Zambian Breweries director of corporate affairs Ezekiel Sekele explained that the project was targeting a wide number of farmers.

“This year, we are targeting to reach 2,000 farmers to be on the technology based platform called BanQu system. Currently, we have 1,000 farmers on the system as part of the pilot project,” he explained.

Mr Sekele also said the BanQu system – locally referred to as Chembe cassava online buying project – brings dignity to farmers through the identification of the smallholder farmers in the supply chain, focuses on yields and skills development and promotes financial inclusion..
“The system will help the assessment of the yield quality, increase demand and will locate our farmers more accurately. I am glad to announce that this project will also meet the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals by promoting financial inclusion, as our partners from the banking and micro finance sectors will enable the project’s transparency and farmer’s ability to save,” he added.

Agriculture Minister Hon. Michael Katambo urged farmers to welcome the Chembe Cassava farming project with both hands and not be sceptical because government was aware with how transparent the system is.
“Please use this initiative because it also promotes financial inclusion and will encourage you to save from your cassava earnings,” Mr Katambo urged.
The minister reminded the farmers how tedious it was, before, for them to trade in cassava, and was elated that the project was in line with Smart Zambia Masterplan, 7NDP, Zambia Vision 2030, as it will encourage ICT skills transfer in the agriculture sector.
“The project is in tandem with the Zambia’s prospects of transforming Zambia into a middle income nation through the use of “smart agriculture,” which is also in line with vision 2030,” he said.
Mr Katambo encouraged other private players to emulate Zambian Breweries in enhancing socio-economic development in its value chain.

Speaking at the same event Luapula Provincial Minister Hon. Nickson Chilangwa said the launch marked a milestone as farmers would be able to find a ready formal market for their crops.
“My wish is that my people in Luapula will be the best in cassava for Eagle Lager,” he said.

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22 COMMENTS

    • Please don’t ask SAB Miller for that they are only interested in turning you into a nation of dull docile drunkards or Zombies…UNZA am sure are well aware of the benefits of cassava but lack funding and this is where govt comes in.

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  1. Eagle Lager is originally a Ugandan beer brewed by Nile Breweries which is a subsidiary of SAB Miller. In Uganda they use home-grown Epuripur sorghum (brewed with barley malt) which is cultivated for Eagle Lager and Eagle Extra. Its a cross between sorghum beer (using locally-produced crops) and conventional lager. Its distinct natural sorghum character and combines well with the high degree of clarity to make Eagle Lager a first for new clear beer consumers.This Zambian version is a variation where cassava has been used instead..

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    • ..I commend SAB Miller for using local produce to grow its market share in country and also use to help promote sustainable development but surely there are other uses of cassava other than alcohol, should alcohol be the only answer to solving issues…Cassava has so many uses apart from its nutritional value like Hydrates The Skin, Removing Scars and Spots,Helps Hair Grow Faster,Provides Hair Nourishment, Helps You Lose Weight, Helps prevent cancer ( B17 content),Beneficial For Pregnant Women, Boosts Energy And Improves Brain Function and Nerve Health etc.

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    • Animo Farm with brain dung on the loose! If Hazaluza Hagain, Childish were in the U.S. he could have been history for inside trading practices and money laundering.

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  2. #1.1 tribal Jay Gay, atrocious comment expected only from someone who thinks and reasons trib.ally, like their trib.al god Hacks. But you have atoned for that comment from a foul mouth through your subsequent statements, probably after you realised that people now watch your trib.al comments

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    • UPND cadre is right and he contributes sense while you always try to take opportunity to find HaNegatives and destroy our nation of peace with atrocious comments because of your anti-Government stance which basically is a tribal and anti Non-TTONGAAA or (your UNION of Hatribes Utd beliefs.) Pathetic human being.

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  3. Ignoring trib.al Jay Gay, I must commend ZamBrew for that gesture, you are a caring investor. Please extend the gesture to trib.al Jay Gay’s village, trib.al as he is, he is probably incensed that this project is

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  4. Ignoring trib.al Jay Gay, I must commend ZamBrew for that gesture, you are a caring investor. Please extend the gesture to trib.al Jay Gay’s village, trib.al as he is, he is probably incensed that this project is not trib.al.

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  5. Another thing that I like about this article is that none of the ministers referred to President Lungu. From minister Katambo imagine no “President Lungu durected us”, President Lungu this and that and all sorts of nauseating nonsense. Worshipping a fellow human being the President never fails to make me puke, it is always DISGUSTING!!!

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    • This is a ZB programme that the minister happened to visit….you have have posted four comments which have nothing to do with the article…use the internet to learn.
      Wake up!!

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    • Yes it does but its was bought by drinks giant Anheuser-Busch InBev so its a subsidiary…there are about three giants that own all the major beers.

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    • Childish is free to try his luck with delusions and the Tribal Union of his who believe in him but we know that HE WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT IN ZAMBIA! Too dull and childish to be a president.

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    • I know it was bought by AB InBev about 2 years or so ago. Question is, is SAB Miller still a brand after the buy out?

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  6. I spent more time looking at the picture because it looks like town crooks plotting how to rob a bank…is this really a minister…..the guy looks deadly!

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  7. Now that’s more like it ,news about investments to the forefront rather than the usual loudmouth politicians.

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