FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 24, 2022
ZAMBIAN BREWERIES PROMOTES FINANCIAL INCLUSION FOR SMALL-SCALE FARMERS
As the country’s largest brewer extends blockchain technology to sorghum smallholder farmer.
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – The smallholder farmers linked to the Zambian Breweries PLC value chain are delighted with the introduction of blockchain technology for selling and receiving payment for their sorghum and cassava crop. The Ministers of Science and Technology and Small and Medium Enterprise Development were keynote speakers at the first ever 2022 Sustainability through Technology Conference, which saw the launch of the blockchain App, called BanQu. .
BanQu is one of the world’s first blockchain technology-based app aimed at providing supply chain visibility, traceability, dignity through identification and promoting financial inclusion for previously secluded communities.
The nation’s largest brewer partnered with BanQu in 2018 to provide traceability to over 2,000 direct farmers in Zambia under the cassava out-grower scheme in Luapula and Northern Provinces of Zambia. The brewer is now extending the use of the app to its sorghum growers in Southern Province. Implementing the app through this partnership with BanQu will help Zambian Breweries achieve its 2025 agriculture sustainability goal of making sure that 100 percent of its thousands of direct farmers are “skilled, connected and financially empowered.”
The Minister of Technology and Science Hon. Felix Mutati, MP, represented by the Permanent Secretary – Dr Brilliant Haabenzu commended the Brewery for having technology, science and innovation at the heart of their operations.
The Minister said, “Government has identified agriculture as one of the key pillars for economic transformation and job creation. We have unmasked the potential of digitisation, and seeing exponential growth to where it can make an impact on both the demand and supply side.’’
Meanwhile the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Hon. Elias Mubanga, MP, expressed appreciation to Zambian Breweries and BanQu for their tremendous work in empowering the people of Zambia.
The Minister explained, “The road map to better sorghum farming includes the introduction of technology through the BanQu app to further empower the farmers (and) introduction of the drought tolerant sorghum as a cash crop. The company has invested in training, mentorship, and support. This shows confidence in the new dawn government, building further investor confidence. Smart Agriculture scheme will help facilitate better crop management and sustainable farming, with efforts to improve yields while reducing inputs, water usage and fertilizer utilization’’
Speaking at the same event, Zambian Breweries Country Director Michelle Kilpin said that the brewery was commitment to driving the implementation of its Sustainability Goals on Smart Agriculture through the use of technology.
“As part of our 2025 Sustainability Goals, Zambian Breweries PLC strives to attain 100% of direct farmers as skilled, connected and financially empowered. BanQu blockchain technology is one of the tools we are relying upon to connect and bring about financial inclusion for the smallholder farmers. I am aware that most of the Micro Small-scale enterprises such as the rural based smallholder farmers are excluded from the financial market. Through the Blockchain technology of BanQu we are now bringing about Dignity through identity, Transaction Traceability, promoting a Cash-less society, safeguarding health and safety of our people and finally driving financial inclusion for vulnerable and yet viable communities,’’ explained Ms. Kilpin.
Further, the Zambian Breweries PLC Country Director emphasized the importance of continued and enhanced Public-Private sector collaboration and partnership in order to positively contribute to the upliftment of livelihoods in the communities.
In line with ZB’s dream of creating a future with more cheers of sustainability. Ms. Kilpin outlined the company’s focus on digitizing the ecosystem in order to improve efficiencies, productivity and serve the market place better. The launch of the BanQu blockchain technology is a step in the right direction.
About AB InBev in Zambia
Zambian Breweries Plc is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewer in the world, with more than 400 beer brands and some 200,000 employees in over 50 countries. It is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.
Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label, Eagle beer, Stella Artois and Budweiser.
For media inquiries please contact
Gillian Langmead at Langmead & Baker Ltd
+260 979 060705