Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) recently facilitated an exhibition program with the theme: “Crop diversification and alternative food”. A team of young people under the ENABLE-TAAT compact attended the event to showcase the modern cassava value chain technologies. Zambian Head of State, His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, was also present to witness a variety of modern technologies for agricultural advancement in the country.
At the exhibition, ENABLE-TAAT compact, implemented by IITA’s Youth-in-Agribusiness office, showcased agricultural commodities and products such as High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) and all its nutrient-fortified snacks and foods that being produced and supplied to chain stores like Shoprite, Pick ‘n’ Pay, and various food outlets in various parts of the country. They also showcased their Cassava chips that could be supplied to food and beverage companies like Zhonghai International Ltd, Zambia Breweries, and other processors that use cassava chips as a raw material in the production of various products like ethanol, glue, beer, and so on.
Zambian President receiving hamper from Zambia IITA Youth Agripreneurs
At the exhibition stand of the youths, President Lungu applauded IITA for its youth in agribusiness initiative for engaging young people in agriculture and channeling a career path for many of them to be self-employed and employers of others. He was impressed to see graduate youth producing and showcasing agricultural commodities and contributing their quota to ensure that the country’s agricultural sector thrives. President Lungu commended ENABLE-TAAT for its collaboration with various established youth groups in Zambia, as this according to him, will extend the technologies and impact beyond the walls of IITA.
At the end of the exhibition, the youth presented a hamper of assorted cassava-based products to His Excellency. The President was especially delighted in the cassava bread which he described as a “good initiative”. President Lungu’s interest in the cassava bread presented to him by the youth has stimulated interest in some of the attendees; their testimonies showed a mindset change and a desire to be included in agribusiness incubations and establishment of agribusiness clusters, which are core objectives of ENABLE-TAAT.