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World Vision to empower farmers

CATHERINE MUMBA, Chipata
WORLD Vision Zambia has launched a K100 million (US$10 million) project targeting to improve productivity for 15,000 small-scale 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 last year, before being extended to Muchinga and Eastern provinces.
Eastern Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo launched the second phase of the project dubbed, “transforming household resilience in vulnerable environments (THRIVE)” yesterday.
Mr Kasolo said the project is expected to empower farmers with skills in entrepreneurship, agronomic principles, market fundamentals, financial inclusion and family well-being.
“I am informed that the project further plans to set up two irrigation systems made of weirs and canals in Muchinga and Eastern provinces aimed at enhancing vegetable production, thus enabling farmers to grow crops all year round,” he said.
Mr Kasolo said the investment will go a long way in contributing to Government’s efforts of enhancing agricultural production and productivity among small-scale farmers, while improving the country’s food security.
He said President Lungu’s leadership will continue creating an enabling environment that allows non-governmental organisations like World Vision and other private sector players to participate in smallholder agricultural investments to contribute to the country’s food security.
And World Vision national director Mark Kelly said phase one of the projects has already shown good results where beneficiaries who produced 13 bags in Kasama are now able to produce more than 95 bags of maize per year on the same potions of land.
Mr Kelly said in a speech read for him by World Vision operation and partnership manager for southern region Clement Chipokolo that the success of phase one is testimony enough that small-scale farmers can become drivers of their own change and development, with the potential to become commercial producers.

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