About 500 smallholder famers in Nsama District of Northern Province will benefit from disease-free cassava cuttings to be distributed by Itawa Investments and CABI.
Itawa Investments Chief Operations Officer, Musonda Chansa, said the support included providing the farmers with cassava disease-free cuttings in order to help combat the Cassava Brown Streak.
Chansa told Zambia Monitor that the farmers would be assisted with technical knowledge of planting the crop, mechanisation and find the ready available market for their produce.
“The initiative follows a campaign in August last year by CABI to curb the spread of Cassava Brown Streak Disease which can lead to a total loss of crop and severely impact food security and the livelihoods of farmers and their families,” he stated.
Chansa noted that the demand for cassava had been rising over the years, though production continued to be less than what would be required in a particular year.
He stated that the support to the farmers in Nsama District would be extended to other Districts depending on the response or out come of the project during this farming season.
“On the market side, there is over demand but where we have a problem is production because the Cassava Brown Streak keeps on destroying the crop before it can fully develop,” Chansa said.
In its report, CABI stated that estimated losses due to CBSD in Zambia were around 55 percent of total cassava production, equivalent to monetary losses of over US$500,000.
WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.