President Lungu Launches Cassava Out-Grower Program

His Excellency Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu President of Zambia today launched Sunbird Bioenergy Zambia’s cassava out-grower program in Kawambwa, Luapula province.

The out-grower program will recruit 20,000 local small-holder farmers to grow 700,000 tonnes of sustainable cassava feedstock per year for our biorefinery that is currently under construction. The biorefinery will produce 100 million litres of bioethanol which is approximately 20% of the country’s petrol requirement.

I urge all local-farmers to become cassava out-growers for Sunbird. Not only will you earn an annual income from producing cassava, but you will be helping Zambia to achieve an import substitution saving of $100 million per annum.  This is an incredibly strategic project for Zambia, and we desire for it to be very successful. Commented H.E. President Lungu.

The government has allocated land to the out-growers, and Sunbird Bioenergy will provide the necessary planting materials and inputs such as fertiliser. The company is using the Smallholdr agri-management application to monitor the progress of the out-growers and to verify their attendance in training programs.

The President and his ministers for Finance, Agriculture and Transport received training on how to plant cassava. The same training programs will be implemented for all of the out-growers.

President Lungu Planting Cassava

President Lungu Planting Cassava at Out-Grower Launch

The President reviewed Sunbird Bioenergy’s 500 Ha cassava nursery and multiplication centre that will supply the virus-free and high-yielding varieties of cassava to the outgrowers. His excellency opened the cassava nursery and was pleased with the progress that had been made.

President Lungu and Richard Bennett launch cassava out-grower program

Richard Bennett and President Edgar Lungu review cassava nursery

We are proud that this project delivers on many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for Zambia, particular Renewable Energy, Rural Development, Poverty Alleviation and quality jobs for the local communities, particularly women and college leavers. Commented Richard Bennett, CEO.

Local small-scale farmers may sign up to the program at Sunbird Bioenergy’s office in Kawambwa, Luapula Province, Zambia.