The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$1.4mn grant from the global agriculture and food security programme to reduce malnutrition among the southern African nation’s most vulnerable households
The mitigating impacts of Covid-19 on the household food security project will create about 150 permanent skilled or semi-skilled positions and 40 part-time unskilled jobs in crop, livestock and fisheries value chains. The project will supply inputs for crops, livestock and aquaculture enterprises to promote good agricultural practices and increase food production. There will also be a capacity-building component.
“The agriculture sector is an important source of livelihoods, employment and GDP in Zambia. Increased food supply resulting from additional grant funds will lead to more jobs, improved quality of life, and reduction of malnutrition in many impacted communities,” said Martin Fregene, director of agriculture and agro-industry at AfDB.
The project provides supplementary funds to the ongoing agriculture productivity and market enhancement project, a US$32mn grant-funded initiative also from the programme, which has been managed by the Bank in the Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Serenje and Chitambo districts of Zambia over the past five years.
Global agriculture and food security programme administrators said the six districts were selected based on poverty levels, food insecurity and malnutrition prevalence. However, with this funding and program, these districts have the potential for economic growth, and to promote crop diversification. Some 5,000 people, including 3,750 women and 1,000 youth, will benefit. Some 5,000 people will also benefit indirectly along the commodity value chains.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Zambia has implemented bold measures to protect the health and economic well-being of its citizens. These steps included a nationwide program to scale up agricultural diversification. The bank’s Covid-19 response facility launched in 2020 has been a lifeline to member governments by providing resources to tackle the pandemic.
“The facility will consolidate the Bank’s support for Zambia’s economic diversification and impact mitigation against Covid-19,” said Mary Monyau, the bank’s country manager in Zambia.