AfDB leverages support to Zambia’s agriculture sector

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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is leveraging support to Zambia’s National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP: 2014-2018) with the approval of a US $31.12 million (UA 20.54 million) grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP), to support its agriculture value chain development project.

The Agriculture Productivity and Market Enhancement Project (APMEP) approved by the AfDB Board on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Tunis, aims to develop irrigation and aquaculture as well as promote crop and livestock production and productivity.

It will also support agro-processing and value addition, market linkages, men, women and youth participation and enhancement of household income, food and nutrition security.
It aims to spur economic growth and poverty reduction by ensuring food, income and nutrition security among beneficiaries.

The project’s three key components comprise:

  • Agriculture Production and Productivity which will focus on development of irrigation, aquaculture and livestock, crop diversification and intensification, and environmental issues.
  • Value Chain Development and Market Linkages which will promote agro-processing, value chain development, agriculture service centres, and market linkages;
  • Institutional strengthening which will support food and nutrition security, day-to-day management of the Project activities and monitoring and evaluation.

These activities are aligned to the Bank’s Results-Based Country Strategy Paper (CSP: 2011-2015) that emphasizes the need to develop the Zambia Productive Sector by supporting economic diversification through infrastructure development and economic and financial governance.

The project is also in line with the Bank’s Agriculture Sector Strategy (2010-2014), Gender Strategy (2014-2018), and Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022).

The project is also based on the Government’s development agenda articulated in the National Vision 2030 which reflects Zambia’s aspirations and determination to be a prosperous middle-income country by 2030.

The project will be implemented in six districts, namely, Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Serenje and Chitambo with a total area of 40,759 km2. According to 2010 census, the six districts have total population of 503,291 people (49% male and 51% female) who are predominantly smallholder farmers. The main criteria for selection of these districts include poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, vulnerability to climate change, and potential for crop diversification and economic growth.

The project’s direct beneficiaries are estimated at 75,000 rural people including 33,750 (45%) women and indirect beneficiaries are about 40,000 people along the commodity value chain development. It is expected to create at least 450 full-time skilled/semi-skilled and 2,200 part-time unskilled jobs in production, processing and marketing which will benefit men, women and youth.

The project is estimated to cost US $34.87 million (UA 23.01 million). The GAFSP Grant will finance 89.3% of the costs while the Government and beneficiaries contribute the remaining 10.3% and 0.4%, respectively.