ZB plans cassava plant in Luapula

ZAMBIAN Breweries will soon open up a new processing site in Luapula Province from where they will buy cassava from small-scale farmers and process it into a key ingredient in the production of Eagle lager, company technical director Franz Schepping has said.

Mr Schepping said the company would significantly increase the amount of cassava bought from rural farmers as it was one of the main components in the production of Eagle, the cheaper brand of beer.

“The future of Zambia and its economic development matters deeply to us. So, too, does the future of Zambia’s agriculture. Increasingly, we are looking to the nation’s small-scale farmers to supply raw materials for the beer we brew.

‘‘The same farmers are also, I believe, critically important to the future of Zambia and to its hopes for progress and prosperity,” he said.

The company through this initiative will buy surplus cassava from small-scale producers following recent investment in an innovative new technical process at its Ndola brewery that would enable it to easily incorporate the root into its production process.

Through this technology the company was expected to increase the share of cassava in its Eagle lager from 25 percent to 40 percent, while removing the sugar content.

Small-scale farmers in Luapula Province are on track to receive a significant boost from Zambian Breweries through a new cassava project, which is set to increase the use of the crop, provide a ready market and ensure production of an affordable Eagle lager.

Zambian Breweries has been evaluating plans to set up a processing site in Mansa in order to source cassava and support small-scale agriculture, a move that has been spurred by a favourable excise rate of 10 percent on cassava-based lager when compared to 20 percent excise rate that was based on a lower content of cassava input.

It is now developing an end-to-end supply chain supporting small-scale farmers in Northern and Luapula provinces, and with innovative technology will deliver a high quality, affordable clear beer that will, the company hopes,  grow to become a leading brand within the company’s portfolio  comparable to Mosi lager in the next three years.