Over 30 000 Zambian smallholder farmers last December benefited from the World Food Programme (WFP) post-drought recovery support.
The programme targets farmers in five drought-prone districts of Gwembe, Monze, Kalomo, Sioma and Shang’ombo and the targeted farmers were seriously affected by the drought of 2018/19.
“WFP continued to provide post-drought recovery support to smallholder farmers impacted by the 2018/19 drought in five drought-prone districts,” the United Nations organisation said in its latest situation report.
“By December, the WFP, through a network of ten local agro-dealers, concluded the distribution of nutrient-dense and/or drought-tolerant farming inputs to 30,002 smallholders (53% women).
“The inputs comprised 440 metric tonnes of cowpeas, groundnuts, orange maize and sorghum and 1.6 million cassava cuttings redeemed using commodity vouchers. To guarantee seed availability, WFP linked the agro-dealers to seed suppliers/producers.”
The WFP said it had partnered with Good Nature Agro, a for-profit agri-based enterprise.
“(This is) to boost smallholder farmers’ access to and production of high yielding legume crops in Eastern Province (Katete, Lundazi and Petauke districts) and Chibombo District of Central Province.
“Through a legume out-grower scheme under this partnership, 722 smallholder farmers received nearly 30 mt of soya bean, enabling them to grow nutrient dense crops.
With nutrition improvement high on the national agenda, the WFP has continued to support government efforts in ensuring social protection systems and programmes are nutrition-sensitive.”
The WFP said as part of its relief support efforts in the SADC region, in January, it exported 270 mt of beans to Eswatini through its Global Commodity Management Facility (GCMF), an internal mechanism for procuring and pre-positioning food stock for humanitarian assistance.
“WFP procured the beans from smallholder farmers, improving their incomes and livelihoods.”