Lusaka, Thursday, August 15, 2019: The COMESA Federation of National Associations of Women in Business (FEMCOM) will provide a USD 12,000 support towards the refurbishment of the Kanakantapa Cassava cluster initiative in Zambia.
The funds will go towards the purchase of new Cassava processing equipment, re-installation of new water reticulation facilities and general maintenance of the facility.
The project is expected to benefit over 250 women and youth cassava farmers in the surrounding community. Once operational, the farmers will supply their cassava to the plant for processing hence uplifting their living standards.
During her maiden mission to Zambia, last week, the new Chief Executive of FEMCOM, Ms Ruth Negash visited the Cassava. She said over 500 Kilograms of Cassava starch is earmarked for production per day compared to the previous output of 50 Kilograms per day. The funding will be disbursed before the end of this month, August 2019.
“This facility needs improvement and we are supporting you with USD12, 000 so that they can start operating as soon as possible,” she said.
Ms Negash said FEMCOM further plans to replicate the establishment of the Cassava processing plants in the other Member States to support the production of the much-needed cassava by-products like starch used in the breweries, pharmaceutical industry, confectionery and many others.
“I want to see to it that as production begins in the next two months, we should start a school feeding programme in nearby schools and ensure that we find market for access cassava into the mining industry, in the production of medicine, and of course for home consumption within and outside this community,” she stated.
She however emphasized the need for high quality production of the Cassava by-product if the cluster is to remain competitive on the market.