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Agriculture and Food Security

Women smallholder farmers are part of the over 21,500 vulnerable and rural poor households targeted through the USAID/FTF
Women smallholder farmers are part of the over 21,500 vulnerable and rural poor households targeted through the USAID/FTF Mawa food security activity.
Photo: Greg Kahn / USAID

The over-reliance of Zambia’s economy on mining, construction and urban commerce leaves the agriculturally dependent rural poor behind. USAID supports country-driven strategies and invests in strengthening both public and private institutions that underpin growth in the agricultural sector.  Through Feed the Future, we tackle rural poverty and malnutrition with activities that address policy issues, promote access to markets, and assist smallholder farmers to diversify and increase agricultural production and incomes.  Our economic development assistance focuses on the following: 

INCREASED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY 

We work with small-scale farmers in Eastern Province and peri-urban Lusaka to increase the efficiency, productivity, and diversification of maize, legume, and other horticulture production.  These activities, such as PROFIT+ (Production, Finance and Improved Technology Plus), Mawa, and Africa Rising Research and Development Program, promote improved technologies, including conservation agriculture, better-quality seed and fertilizer use, and improved post-harvest storage.  In addition, USAID agricultural activities also promote the cultivation and use of nutritious bio-fortified food crops, such as Vitamin A-rich maize and orange-flesh sweet potatoes.

EXPANDED MARKETS AND TRADE 

USAID's programs foster an enabling environment for agricultural development based on a robust private sector.  We support institutions that build capacity to conduct research and adopt policies that promote agricultural trade and enable the best use of public resources. We also bolster the entire agricultural value chain by building the technical and business skills of farmers, cooperatives, processors, and community based agro-dealers, and strengthening the relationships among actors in the value chain. This ensures sustainability as farmers are better able to access markets on commercial terms that are mutually beneficial, increasing productivity, income, value addition and rural wealth.  It also contributes to regional food security by increasing the quantity of staple food and processed food commodities that are exported regionally.

STRENGTHENING THE RESILIENCE OF VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS 

The USAID Feed  the Future Mawa activity targets vulnerable households with an integrated approach to building assets and reducing risk. Our programs in Zambia help subsistence farmers and households produce enough to meet their own needs and remain with a surplus for market sale.  Resilience programs focus on the whole family as well as community networks, to ensure that health, nutrition, food security, and economic growth are integrated into all activities.  Special attention is given to involving women living in extreme poverty and in expanding their opportunities to become producers, service providers, and entrepreneurs.  A focus on climate smart agriculture also helps vulnerable farmers withstand climatic shocks associated with global climate change.

CURRENT USAID ZAMBIA MISSION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

  • The Better Life Alliance GDA 
  • Food Security Research Project III
  • Mawa Project
  • Production, Finance, Improved Technologies Plus (PROFIT+)
  • Development Credit Authority Agreements
  • Feed the Future Zambia Policy Strengthening Project
  • Africa Rising Agriculture Research and Development Project

Last updated: April 19, 2017

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