Green Solutions for Sustainable Development and Growth in Monze District, Zambia
Project implementor: Caritas Czech Republic
Donor: Czech Development Cooperation
Implementation period: 2023-2025
The main source of livelihood for the inhabitants of the Monze district is agriculture, particularly maize production. However, in recent years, maize production has gradually declined, partly due to climate change and production systems. The agricultural sector in the district has significant potential for diversification and increased production. However, small and medium-scale farmers face similar barriers to realizing their potential as the rest of Zambia. They lack adequate agronomic knowledge for cultivating diversified crops, insufficient financial capital for purchasing seeds and fertilizers, and limited resources for equipment, mechanization, and irrigation. Farmers also have limited options for selling their produce, often selling it at low prices. This is partly due to restricted access to market price information and individual bargaining power.
PROJECT AIM AND DEVELOPMENT ASPECTS
The project aims to contribute to increasing the productivity and income of small and medium-scale farmers, especially women and youths, through the implementation of resilient and sustainable agricultural practices and better integration into market-oriented value chains in Monze, Southern Province, Zambia. A minimum of 1,650 small and medium-scale farmers from the Monze district will have technical capacities in sustainable and eco-friendly cultivation of soybeans and sunflowers, post-harvest processing, storage, production diversification, natural resource management, agroforestry, and climate change. These farmers will possess basic financial literacy, use financial services, and have facilitated markets for their produce. Five small and medium-sized enterprises in Monze will be supported in business development and transitioning to a green economy by building capacities in entrepreneurial skills and management, production certification, and principles of a green economy.
ROLE OF HOLISTIC SOLUTIONS S.R.O. IN THE PROJECT
HS will prepare an expert analysis aimed at providing sufficient information for further strategic steps to support the irrigation construction sector in the Monze area. Irrigation is considered a crucial means to enhance the resilience of small agricultural systems utilizing rainwater and to increase productivity to meet the growing demand for food and enhanced agricultural production in the Southern Province. Based on the expert analysis, HS will also conduct a series of training sessions, taking into account available technologies and the ecological aspect.
HS will recommend suitable technologies for processing agricultural produce in Monze, with a focus on affordability and simplicity of technologies, making them particularly suitable for women and young individuals. Additionally, HS will conduct a series of training sessions on selected processing technologies. Processing agricultural produce extends the shelf life of products and reduces post-harvest losses. Preservation technologies maintain nutritionally important components, enhance food security, and allow consumption throughout the year, even during periods of reduced production caused by unexpected climate changes. Moreover, processed products have added value, helping farmers increase their income from sales and access new markets.
HS will assist in selecting active farmer cooperatives and groups that will be supported in democratic governance and business skills. These cooperatives and groups will be directly connected to shared access to seeds and fertilizers, as well as the production and processing of soybeans and sunflowers.
HS will conduct an analysis of small and medium-sized enterprises and startups in the agricultural and food sector in the Monze district. Subsequently, 5 companies will be selected to participate in the program. HS will primarily provide training to these companies in the areas of entrepreneurial skills, management, and green economy, actively supporting their green initiatives.