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FARMERS in a maize field.

7,000 female farmers empowered

ABOUT 7,000 female farmers have so far benefitted from a project targeting to improve productivity among small-scale farmers in Katete, Kasama, Luwingu and Mpika districts.
In 2016, World Vision Zambia launched a K100 million (US$10 million) project targeting to improve productivity for the farmers in Eastern, Muchinga and Northern provinces in the next five years.
The five-year project, funded by the United States of America (USA), was first implemented in Northern Province, before being extended to Muchinga and Eastern provinces.
World Vision Zambia project manager Wilfred Mufwambi said in an interview that the major focus of the training is mindset transformation for the women to know that they are an important factor in development.
“The second phase of the project dubbed “Transforming Household Resilience in Vulnerable Environments (THRIVE) was launched the same year and the scheme is expected to empower farmers with skills in entrepreneurship, agronomic principles, market fundamentals, financial inclusion and family well-being,” Mr Mufwambi said.
He said the project is building the capacity of women for them to build viable businesses that can enable them to look after their families while they do farming.
Mr Mufwambi also said through this project, WVZ would like to see people move out of poverty through building profitable enterprises that will improve their livelihoods.
He said WVZ has also encouraged the farmers to diversify from growing maize alone to cash crops such as soya beans, adding that they can also engage in agro-dealership.
“For example, there is a woman in Eastern Province who has opened one such shop, and once we see that they have diversified, then we will be happy to say they have also increased sustainability of their livelihood,” he said.
Mr Mufwambi believes that small-scale farmers can become drivers of their own change and development with the potential to become commercial farmers.