Zambia Food Business Network

Operationalizing of Cassava Processing Plant Stalls

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Central Province Minister Princess Kasune says there is need to investigate what has caused the delay in operationalizing the three million United States Dollar Cassava Processing plant whose construction works were completed in 2021 in Chitambo district.

Ms. Kasune observed that the plant, which was equipped and ready to produce flour, stock feed and other agro products, remained a white elephant two years after completion of its construction works.

She said there was need to operationalize the plant in order to promote value addition to agriculture products and employment of youths in the district.

“It is the wish of the government to promote job creation, and this processing plant is supposed to respond to the government’s call for job creation,” she said.

District Commissioner, Evans Chola and Council Chairperson Brian Mwelwa, also appealed to the government to operationalize the plant to cushion the growing demand for employment in the district.

Mr. Chola said the delays to operationalise the cassava milling plant running was causing anxiety among the local people who were highly expectant.

He observed, “I am told that it is supposed to provide an out-grower scheme to the local farmers and address issues of poor market prices for their produce,”

And Mr. Mwelwa echoed the same views saying the local people need to get jobs at the plant which could be among the biggest employers in the rural district.

And District Agriculture Coordinator, Jacob Shawa said the plant is expected to buy maize, soya bean and cassava from the local farmers.

Mr. Shawa said once the plant is up and running, farmers in the area will have a readily available market.

Meanwhile, a local businessman Evans Lwenje, who was a member of the immediate past board said delays to operationalize the plant were due to lack of a board to look at its operations, as well as lack of employees.