Climate-smart agriculture benefits Zambian farmers

Some 5 000 farmers in Mufumbwe District in Zambia’s North-Western Province have profited from climate-smart agriculture as part of a project by the Save Environment and People Agency (SEPA) project, since its inception in 2004.

Climate-smart agriculture benefits Zambian farmers
Potatoes are among the produce farmed by beneficiaries of a climate-smart agriculture project in Mufumbwe District in Zambia.
Photo: FW Archive
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Among the fruit and vegetables produced by the farmers were tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes and bananas.

According to the non-profit organisation’s blog, the aim of the project was to improve the standard of living of the poor in rural communities.

SEPA was founded in the town of Zambezi, with the objective of serving the needs of orphans, vulnerable children and women, and the environment.

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As the largest of seven administrative districts in Zambia, Mufumbwe District had a sparse population of about 80 000, 80% of whom lived below the poverty line, SEPA said.

According to a recent report in the Zambian Agribusiness Magazine, the project was also receiving extension services from that country’s agriculture ministry, and beneficiaries have been trained in partnership with the ministry.

Project manager Mailes Zulu said farmers were using the produce to feed their families, and selling the surplus to the surrounding communities.

She added that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Centre for Coordination of Agriculture Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) were also supporting the project.

The project was managed by SEPA under close supervision of the CCARDESA, and was funded by the EU under the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) programme, in collaboration with the SADC.

The project was one of the four climate-smart technology programmes launched in the Southern African countries of Eswatini, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

According to the magazine, the projects were an extension of a programme by the GCCA+ aimed at strengthening the capacity of SADC member states to undertake regional and national adaptation and mitigation actions in response to the challenges brought about by the effects of climate change.

Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.