- About 30,000 small-scale farming households, in Zambia, many headed by women, will benefit from a US$20 million loan to the country from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The loan agreement for the Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme was signed this week in Rome by Lucy Mungoma, Ambassador to Italy for the Republic of Zambia, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
The programme will focus on reducing rural poverty by stimulating rural economic development through the transformation of small-scale producers into profitable farmers. It will allow farmers to: access technology to increase their yields and improve quality of their produce; enhance their capacities for activities such as sorting, grading, drying and storing; make better commercial decisions based on appropriate market information and get higher and more stable prices with farming contracts.
Agribusiness and marketing practices and policies will be improved by direct interventions to connect small-scale farmers with input suppliers and markets. The programme will also promote an environment that enables agribusiness development. The farmers require help to improve their market operations; they face a particular need to diversify and add value to their produce.
The programme’s overall goal is to increase the income levels of poor rural households involved in the production and trading of specific agricultural commodities.
IFAD has funded 11 projects in Zambia for a total investment of more than $207.0 million.
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