Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa said the country has found alternative use for excess cassava produced in the country.

Speaking during the 3rd Cassava World Summit in Lusaka, Shawa said there has been interest from mining firms to use cassava starch in processing plants and in the beverage industry for beer production.

Shawa said the country has also issued the first licence for companies to produce ethanol from cassava.

“The demand for cassava is likely to outstrip the current excess cassava production in the country,” said Shawa said.

Meanwhile Premiercon Starch Company Limited (PSCL) intends to establish a starch manufacturing company in the country.

Lubasi Yuyi, PSCL Chief Executive Officer said the company with support from the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission -CEEC- intends to establish the plant at a cost of 3.5 million dollars.

He said the company also plans to establish an out-grower scheme in order to reach a target of about 80,000 metric tonnes of processed cassava per year.