By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZAMBIA’S agriculture initiatives being implemented in various parts of the country have impressed the African Development Bank (AfDB), qualifying the country to benefit from the US$1.4 million grant meant to support food security in Southern African nations.
The AfDB has approved US$1.4m grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme to reduce malnutrition among the region’s most vulnerable households.
This is meant to improve household food security in the wake of Covid-19 among the Southern African nations.
The grant provides supplementary funds to the ongoing Agriculture Productivity and Market Enhancement Project in Zambia.
This is a US$32m grant-funded initiative from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme, which has been managed by AfDB in Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Serenje and Chitambo over the past five years.
The Zambian project is in line with the AfDB’s High 5 strategic priorities, specifically, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
AfDB Country Manager in Zambia, Mary Monyau, noted that the country had implemented bold measures to protect the health and economic well-being of its citizens since the outbreak of Covid-19.
These steps, Ms Monyau said, included a nationwide programme to scale up agricultural diversification.
And AfDB Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry, Martin Fregene, said increased food supply resulting from additional grant funds would lead to more jobs, improved quality of life, and reduction of malnutrition in many impacted communities.
The US$1.4m grant project will supply inputs for crops, livestock and aquaculture enterprises to promote good agricultural practices and increase food production.