Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague
"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."
Fruit tree growing programme to increase nutrition and livelihood development among rural households in Zambia
Westwood Agri Limited, Zambia
Most rural Zambian households are engaged in subsistence-level farming that is not economically viable, often turning to unsustainable livelihoods that degrade natural resources, such as forests, to supplement their incomes. Despite more than a decade of high economic growth, most of Zambia’s population remains below the poverty line with high unemployment rate among the households.
For a long time the government policies have focused more on increasing productivity among households, with a specific bias towards crops like maize, to satisfy the hunger at household and national level. Less focus has been put on increasing the nutritional status at the household level. This has resulted in high malnutrition rates and associated health conditions within the population thereby affecting the future workforce productivity.
Furthermore, many households especially in rural areas do not see the benefits of conserving non fruit trees and frequently cut them down to produce charcoal as an alternative income. This has caused vast environmental degradation and has contributed to the climate change effects and poor yields with their staple food crops such as maize.
This project will aim to promote household level fruit production and value addition so as to provide a source of nutrition, income generation and environmental conservation among households that the project will target. The project will train 1000 participants on propagation and management of high value grafted fruit trees. After that, each household will be given on average 20 fruit trees depending on the available space to plant at their plot. The participants will also be trained to add value to the fruits they will harvest as to reduce on post-harvest losses as well increase their income. Additionally participants will be supported with simple processing equipment for value addition. Data for the project will be kept on each plant planted for future impact evaluation with regards to contribution to nutritional value aspect, environmental and livelihood development among the project participants. Out of the planned 20,000 trees, 5,000 fruit trees have already been propagated. These include Avocadoes, Oranges, Lemons, Pawpaw’s, Pomegranates, Mangoes and Granadillas.
Through this project, 1000 targeted households in Zambia will be empowered economically, their nutritional status will be improved, and they will contribute to conserving the surrounding environment that they also depend on.
Keywords: Environmental protection, livelihood development, nutrition
Contact Address: Gift Chitambala, Westwood Agri Limited, Lusaka, Zambia, e-mail: gift.chitambalahotmail.com