Cassava is an important food crop in Zambia grown by smallholder farmers. For a long time, however, the cassava sector was not commercialized and farmers lacked access to markets to sell their crops.
Our local company, Zambian Breweries, has created a new beer brand that uses locally grown cassava — thus providing local farmers with their first commercial cassava market, as well as increased incomes. Over the last three years, we have invested in building a new cassava supply chain by working in partnership with the Zambian government, Musika (a local NGO) and local agribusinesses.
We are focused on finding innovative solutions to help tackle the challenges faced by cassava farmers. These include a lack of supply chain transparency and record-keeping, limited technical capacity, and poor access to banking or digital payments.
In 2018, we partnered with the organization BanQu on a pilot program to test their blockchain platform in order to build a verifiable and transparent “last mile” in our cassava supply chain. The ultimate aim is to provide the foundation for building an economic identity for these farmers. More details on this pilot will be shared later this year.