GROWING Mongu rice may not necessarily be a man's challenge. But one private company calling itself Men's Challenge has risen to the occasion of branding the commodity in a bid to end the product's adulteration.
The rice widely cultivated in Western Province has long been known for its superior scent and quality. But these days, those seeking to enjoy the rice find it almost impossible to discern the real Mongu rice from an influx of adulterated brands on the market.
Any rice ranging from cheap imported brands to locally grown types are labeled as coming from Mongu, poorly packed in plastics and sold to unsuspecting members of the public. In many instances, the traders of the poor quality rice even move from door-to-door to make sales.
Men's Challenge has taken it upon itself to deal with this problem in order to achieve two things: firstly, to perform a man's role in being a problem solver in the community, and secondly, to collaborate with farmers in Western Province in branding and hence stopping the adulteration of the real Mongu rice.
Speaking at the a recent exhibition dubbed the Manufacturers Week which was hosted by the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) at Arcades Shopping centre, Men's Challenge Managing Director David Chengamali said his company has been in business for two years now.
"A man has got so many issues to tackle in society. So when you look at a man, he is in the centre of all the activities. He has to ensure that his children are provided with what they need in terms of school requirements, having enough to eat as well as having shelter.
"So when you look at all these, they are challenges. How do we, as men, meet them? Through setting up ideas such as this firm which is able to provide work and also ensure that we make money through facing those challenges," said Mr Chengamali.
He said Men's Challenge also indirectly chartered for women who, by virtue of being sisters, wives and mothers, were part of a man's challenges.
Men's challenge is a company that is involved in buying rice form farmers in Western Province which the company processes and packages for supply to bigger markets.
The company sources its rice from an adopted group of farmers through a carefully established programme that supplies the grain of the highest grade. From the beginning, the farmers are provided with the first grade rice seed in order to achieve uniformity in the rice which gets harvested.