17 Sep 2020
The European Union has rolled out a €25.9 million project designed to support farmers in Zambia’s agri-business.
The agri-business development fund will aid 150,000 smallholder farmers, drawing particular attention to generating decent job opportunities for women and the younger generation, according to an emailed statement from the EU Office in Zambia.
The EU will hand out €150,000 to the winders of an Enterprise Zambian Challenge Fund who prove that their investment goals are not only new and advanced, but also target commercialization of smallholder farmers as well as better integration into sustainable value chains.
The email release, sent out on Tuesday, also stipulates that the project is part of the EU support to Zambia’s Smallholder Farmers Program, supported by Gorta-Self-Help Africa and Imani Development Limited.
The aim of the project is to expand smallholder farmers’ opportunities in agriculture, agroforestry and aquaculture value chains.
EU Ambassador to Zambia Jacek Jankowski promised that the organization will continue to support Zambia even during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Zambia has a potential to not only get smallholder farmers out of subsistence level, but also become players that promote and benefit from more sustainable, less carbon-intensive and climate change resilient agri-food systems," he said in the release.
The new funds will help the private sector maintain control of investments in order to boost market integration and enhance cooperation for sustainable value chain development, Jankowski added.
Investing in small- and medium-sized business and smallholder farmers to shift to greener and more sustainable agri-food systems and deal with the difficulties presented by the global health crisis will allow more room for employment opportunities, especially for women and youth, said Elia Manda, Gorta-Self-Help Africa’s Country Director.