Cassava (manihot esculenta) in Zambia, is a crop that is predominantly grown by small holder farmers in Zambia and after maize is considered to be the second most important food crop. The 2010-15 Zambia Cassava Sector Development Strategy postulates that the crop has had limited success in scaling from a food security crop to a commercialised food due the value chain being fragmented or largely inefficient characterised by;
- Limited market
- Low access to finance and technology
- Limited access to critical capacity building
- Farmers are mainly rural based and susbsistence oriented
- Low coordination of value chain players.
Despite the well defined strategies of the startegy, vital action to spur growth in the value chain was largely absent during the live of the strategy. The Government of Zambia has nevertheless provided impetus to the growth of the value chain as an employment generating and wealth creating value chain. In 2015, The Government through the Private Sector Development, Industrialisation and Job Creation office (PSDIJCO) contracted the Zambia Business in Development Facility (ZBiDF) to facilitate private sector dialogue on the Industrialisation and Job Creation Strategy (IJCS) with a view to mobilise multi-stakeholder participation in job creation partnerships based on identified priority areas. The dialogue process resulted in the realization of twelve potential partnering opportunities of which one was the cassava value chain.
The dialogue process facilitated in the cassava value chain resulted in the development of a private sector led multi-stakeholder platform called the Cassava to Flour Partnership (C2F) whose objective is to “Reduce poverty and increase employment through increased cassava production and processing” with the following projected outcomes;
- Increased on-farm productivity and production of cassava
- Increased value addition leading to production of cassava starch and high quality cassava flour
- Promotion of the cassava industry as a growing sub sector in Agriculture;
- Growth in employment, crop diversity and incomes amongst small holder farmers
- Rural industrialization.
The C2F Members
Out of the twenty two organisations that participated in the dialogue process a total of eleven (11) have since signed the partnership agreement or memorandum of undertanding, these include the following;
Members of the C2F
- Premiercon Starch Company Ltd.
- Zambian Breweries Plc
- Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)
- Musika Development Initiatives (Musika)
- International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
- National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR)
- Arulussa Farms
- Zambia Development Agency (ZDA)
- Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC)
- Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ):
- Zambia National Cassava Association (ZANACA)
The C2F Champions
The partnership is championed by Premiercon Starch Company Limited and the Zambian Breweries Plc.
- Premiercon Starch Company Limited has a conditional uptake agreement with Kalumbila Mine Limited to supply 7000 metric tonnes of industrial starch per annum once it develops the value chain to support production and processing of cassava in North Western province. Currently the company has since recruited 5000 farmers who are growing on average a hectare of cassava each.
- Zambian Breweries Plc, is producing a clear beer called Eagle Lager using high quality cassava flour which it mills from dried cassava chips bought from farmers in Mansa, Luapula province. Quantities procured have moved from 300MT in 2015 to 1500MT in 2016. It is envisaged that 3000MT of dried cassava chips will be sourced from smallholder farmers in 2017.
ZBiDF’s role in the C2F Partnership
The ZBiDF on the behest of the membership led by the champions and the contract with the Private Sector Development Industrialisation and Job Creation Office (PSDIJCO) is providing vital backbone support and interactive system leadership to the partnership. ZBiDF interactive system leadership or backbone support.
Specifically this has included;
- Identifying and motivating relevant stakeholders participation the partnership
- Ensuring alignment of partner objectives with partnership objectives
- Building an environment of trust and mutual accountability
- Facilitating and handholding collaborative challenge identification and solution development
- Mobilising tangible and intangible resources for value chain development
- Facilitating regular dialogue through meetings and conferences
- Managing conflict resolution processes.