Serenje farmers urged to diversify in cassava

cassava -
cassava -

Farmers in Serenje district have been advised to take cassava growing seriously.

District Seed Cassava Multiplication Project Manager, Nathan Phiri, encouraged the farmers in Serenje to take cassava growing as a business venture.

Mr Phiri was speaking to cassava seed growers at a two day workshop which was held at Farmers Training Centre (FTC) in Serenje recently.

He said now is time that farmers countywide should take keen interest in planting cassava because it has potential in economic gain in the industry.

Mr Phiri disclosed that a German company has shown interest to set up a cassava industry in Mansa in Luapula Province hence the need for farmers to grow more cassava in the country.

He pointed out that the country is facing a lot of challenges to find investors who can invest in cassava industry because very few famers have gone into cassava planting and the supply is too weak to meet the demand of the market.

Mr Phiri, however, urged the seed growers to pass cassava cuttings to other farmers so that the multiplication of the seed can be circulated to everyone by the 2015.

The manager, who commended farmers to grow Banweulu, Kapolombo, Mwelu and Chila as they are early maturing, further disclosed that the importance of growing cassava is to extract mealie meal, produce biscuits, fuel, animal feeds and many more others.

At the same workshop, one of the participants, Elijah Mulumbwa, commended Mr Phiri for engaging cassava seed growers in the district.

Mr Mulumbwa, who is also District Agriculture Committee (DAC) Chairperson and   District Cooperative Union Chairperson, called on farmers not to prioritise maize farming alone but to also diversify in cassava planting and other crops.

The event drew participant from Chililambombwe, Chimupati, Chisembwa, Kankoso and Mulembo Agriculture camps.