GOVERNMENT says the growing demand for cassava among farmers has led to an increase in the production of the commodity for human and industrial purposes.

Speaking in Lusaka today at a stakeholder consultative meeting on Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary GREEN MBOZI says cassava which was traditionally grown in Northern and Luapula provinces, has now spread to the Copperbelt, Western, Eastern and Southern provinces.

Mr MBOZI says government is committed to supporting the cassava value chain and has collectively set achievable targets with various key players and partners in the second cassava national development plan.

The Permanent Secretary has challenged the players to come up with actionable support towards strengthening a national response to containing cassava brown streak disease which has affected farmer’s fields in various parts of the country.

And Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences (CABI), Southern Africa Regional NOAH PHIRI has disclosed that over 20,000 cassava cuttings were distributed to more than 2, 500 farmers through the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Disaster Mitigation and Management Unit (DMMU).

Dr PHIRI has called for the active participation of the youth in the cassava value chain.