Better Life Alliance
Life of Project: December, 2011 to November, 2015
Partner: Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO)
Zambian small-holder farmers engage primarily in mono-cropping maize with low productivity, and lack connections to markets and the private sector. The Better Life Alliance is a public-private partnership that strengthens the link between smallholder farmers and agricultural markets while promoting agricultural diversity and conservation farming. The partnership brings together the U.S. government, the Norwegian Royal government, the non-profit organization COMACO, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and private sector companies General Mills and Cargill. The Alliance aims to strengthen food security and sustainable rural economic growth. The Alliance operates in the U.S. Feed the Future Initiative focus area for Zambia, Eastern Province. The Better Life Alliance improves agricultural extension services and helps farmers obtain inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticides, for a variety of crops while ensuring a connection to markets for their crops. The Alliance also trains farmers in conservation farming techniques and offers farmers incentives to use sustainable farming practices. The Alliance will benefit 40,000 farming households.
Food Security Research Project (FSRP)
Life of Project: September, 2010 to September, 2015
Partner: Michigan State University
Agricultural productivity of most staple crops has been stagnant, in part due to Zambian government agriculture policies that exacerbate the challenges and focus on maize-centric subsides to the exclusion and detriment of other crops. The Food Security Research Project (FSRP) focuses on sustainable agricultural policy reform and capacity building. FSRP builds capacity among agricultural sector planners to achieve improved policy making through applied agricultural economic research, policy analysis, outreach, and dialogue. The current emphasis is to indigenize capacity by supporting and strengthening local Zambian institutions like the recently establish Zambia Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute. FSRP has also supported and built capacity within the Zambian government to collect and analyze agricultural data and convene stakeholders for discussion and input into the development and implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Plan Compact.
Expanding Impact in USAID Supported Value Chains
Life of Project: October, 2009 to September, 2012
Partner: Action for Enterprise
Private sector investments in the Zambian agricultural sector are weak. Expanding Impact in USAID Supported Value Chains works with “Lead Firms” in targeted value chains to generate benefits for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, including farmers. A lead firm is a company that has a large number of commercial links and can promote greater integration into the market. The project is currently working with twenty-six lead firms in the agribusiness, tourism, and crafts sub-sectors. The project works with lead firms to provide extension services to farmers with “good practice” farming manuals; to assist in the preparation of business plans; and to train farmers using demonstration houses and field days.
Zambia Agriculture Research and Development Project
Life of Project: May, 2011 to September, 2015
Partner: Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
While research and development is critical for agricultural growth, the Government of Zambia has not historically funded this sector and as a result key research and capacity is lacking. The Zambia Agricultural Research and Development Program works with local partners throughout Zambia to undertake research that increases the productivity of Zambian agriculture and improves household nutrition. Together, these partners promote the adoption of improved crop varieties and improve the management of these crops for higher yields and environmental sustainability.
Commercial Agribusiness for Sustainable Horticulture (CASH)
Life of Project: February 2012 to February 2016
Partner: Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products
Zambian smallholder agriculture is dominated by a single crop, maize, and characterized by little private sector investment. CASH works with over 5,000 smallholder horticulture producers and processers in Eastern and Lusaka provinces to increase productivity, income and employment, while strengthening their ability to meet market standards and access market opportunities. Small-scale farmers, women and more vulnerable households also increase their access to improved technologies such as seeds and irrigation. The project supports the production and marketing of superior quality horticultural products through strategic partnerships between producers, development organizations, and the private sector to address the challenges of food insecurity, rural poverty, and nutrition.
Production, Finance & Technology Plus (PROFIT +)
Life of Project: July 2012 to July 2016
A combination of low productivity, maize-centric farming, and poor value chain development for diverse crops have resulted in stagnated agricultural growth in Zambia. PROFIT+ builds on previous USAID-funded activities by closely linking enhanced agricultural input supply with output markets, promoting value-added rural enterprises and ensuring that women fully benefit from value chain development. The project focuses on increasing agricultural productivity and expanding markets and trade in the U.S. Feed the Future Initiative Zambia focus value chains of maize, oilseeds and legumes (particularly groundnuts, soya and sunflower), in the Eastern Province economic corridor. Specifically, activities include the identification and dissemination of improved productivity technologies to farmers, the development of value-chain finance schemes to increase access to credit, the development of an export strategy for these value chains, and improving the capacity and governance of cooperatives to increase market linkages to high value processing. PROFIT+ will achieve a 30 percent increase in productivity and income from selected value chains, benefit more than 800,000 Zambians, and increase the value of agricultural sales by $125 million.
Nyimba Forest Project
Life of Project: August 2012 to March 2014
Partner: Center for International Forestry Research, Zambia Forestry Department
Zambia is currently one of the countries piloting the United Nations-Reducing Deforestation and Degradation (UN-REDD) Program. However, forest inventories and community involvement at district and village level is weak. The Nyimba Forest project is aimed at addressing that gap by empowering local communities with the capacity to inventory their forest resources and monitor the impact of utilization. The project also focuses on forest management decision making and building local institutional capacity at both district and village level. The project will generate data and conduct analyses that will inform the formulation of Zambia’s National REDD+ strategy and better align the strategy with local and national needs while maintaining international standards. The project works in ten villages, targeting 30 percent of Nyimba district’s total population. The project also provides capacity to district-based institutions, the District Council, Forest Department, Zambia Wildlife Authority and Farmer Associations.