Sunbird Bio-energy Africa has begun recruiting cassava farmers in Kawambwa.

The first and biggest bioethanol producer will use cassava as its primary raw material and feed stock to make bioethanol for the country’s ethanol-fuel blending programme.

Sunbird Bio-energy Africa is a developer and operator of large-scale bio-energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa that deliver renewable energy and transportation fuels, and is developing projects in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

So far, Sunbird has appointed Vana, an Indian company to design and implement the cassava out-grower programme that would see 20,000 farmers in Luapula benefit from the company’s micro-financing initiative.

Richard Bennett, Sunbird Chief Executive Officer said Vana already mobilised in Kawambwa district would be responsible for recruiting and registering 20 thousand out-growers for the project.

Bennett said Vana had commenced an out-reach programme to promote the out-grower program to small-scale farmers in Luapula Province.

He said at full implementation and capacity, Sunbird would annually purchase 15 million dollars’ worth of cassava from the community which would have a demonstrable economic impact in the region assuring a strategic asset for the 15% of the country’s petroleum requirement.

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