Nelly Bassily | May 11, 2009
Justina Kalunga’s family doesn’t go to sleep hungry anymore. And it’s all thanks to the cassava growing near her home in the Samfya District of northern Zambia.Ms. Kalunga explains that cassava provides food without requiring purchased inputs. She doesn’t need pesticides or fertilizers to make it grow. She doesn’t even need to buy seed, since stem cuttings do the trick.
Cassava is becoming the staple food of choice for more Zambian farmers. The country’s maize stocks are falling. Maize prices are soaring. Recent floods have contributed to food scarcity.
But Ruth Chalwe is not concerned. She has cassava to eat and cassava to sell. Ms. Chalwe sells a 25 kilogram bag of cassava meal for 70,000 Zambian kwatcha (about 14 American dollars or 10 Euros). The same sized bag of maize meal now sells for about 100,000 Zambian kwatcha (about 20 American dollars or 15 Euros).