More than 61 000 smallholder farmers will benefit from a US$22 million International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) project aimed at helping them commercialise.
According to Zambia’s Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Pamela Kabamba, the project will encourage the uptake of market-oriented agriculture among women and youth.
“The project will concentrate on creating partnerships to facilitate the transformation from subsistence farming to farming as a business,” Kabamba said.
The Zambian agricultural sector rests on 1.6 million smallholder farmers. It is envisaged that graduating them into commercial farming will create the much-needed impetus to dent high levels of poverty and unemployment.
The project will be co-financed by the Zambian government and private sector. The Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) is also involved. The project follows an agreement between Zambia and the IFAD for financing enhanced smallholder agribusiness promotion (E-SAPP).
“The E-SAPP will work along the value chain of target commodities, from input suppliers to end-users, to increase income by identifying areas where efficiency, productivity and quality can be improved,” Kabamba said.
She said E-SAPP will also improve the policy environment, including efforts to integrate climate risk management.
In addition, it will work to increase the capacity of smallholder producers to make them more competitive.
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