Zambia gets financing to boost food security

Over 61,000 smallholder farmers will benefit from a financial agreement signed today between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Zambia to increase the incomes and food and nutrition security of rural households.

The project will promote market-oriented agriculture and focus particularly on women and young people. The financing agreement for the Enhanced Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme (E-SAPP) was signed in Rome by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Pamela Kabamba, Permanent Secretary, Budget and Economics Affairs, Ministry of Finance of Zambia. It follows the Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme (SAPP), which has been making significant progress in smallholder commercialization and agribusiness promotion.

The total cost of the project is US$29.7 million, including a US$21.2 million loan and $1.0 million grant from IFAD. The project will be cofinanced by the private sector ($3.4 million), the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute ($0.5 million) technical assistance, the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management ($0.2 million) grant, the Government of Zambia ($2.0 million) and by the beneficiaries themselves ($1.2 million).

E-SAPP will work along the value chain of the target commodities, from input suppliers to end users, to increase income by identifying areas where efficiency, productivity and quality can be improved. It will help farmers connect to the value chains system of their respective commodities, and will be integrated with other production-oriented initiatives.

The project will concentrate on creating partnerships to facilitate the transformation from subsistence farming to farming as a business. Building on SAPP’s achievements, the programme aims to increase the volume and value of agribusiness outputs sold by smallholder producers.

E-SAPP will also address the policy environment, including efforts to integrate climate risk management into policies. Through agribusiness partnerships, it will work to build the capacity of smallholders and their service providers to compete for, and implement, matching grants. This is key to helping smallholder farmers integrate into value chains while also improving their productivity, incomes and nutritional outcomes.

Since 1981, IFAD has financed 15 rural development programmes and projects in Zambia for a total cost of $ 349.2 million, with an IFAD investment of $ 225.9 million directly benefiting more than 1 million rural households.