USAID/ATI Food Resilience and Security


USAID TradeBoost- Zambia Food Security and Resilience Corporation Partnerships

Following the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, USAID engaged its Africa Trade and Investment activity (ATI) through the USAID TradeBoost project to facilitate private-sector partnerships that could rapidly promote access and availability of agricultural inputs, technologies, and food in response to price and availability shocks across Africa. ATI partnered with the Empowering Farmers Foundation (EFF) and partners, AfricaGlobal Schaffer and, to address price and food security impacts in Zambia through the establishment of seasonal aggregation centers in the Eastern and Central Provinces of Zambia.

These centers, named Seasonal Open Markets (SOMs), are designed to improve food security and resilience by reducing postharvest losses, transaction costs, and market uncertainty. The innovative approach is a series of district-level collection centers in high production areas serving as aggregation points to accumulate mostly maize and legumes from smallholder farmers and facilitate a better trading environment for farmers and private traders, as both parties will be certain of grain quality. It integrates smart technologies, logistics, equipment access, and transaction facilitation to boost output. Centers lessen opportunistic behaviors among private traders through improving aggregation conditions; accessing harvesting, drying, shelling technologies; and increasing reliable market connectivity of large volumes, and supplying an agro-processing hub for value addition. It aligns with the government’s priority and strategy to increase production and exports.

Within the first half of this 12-month program, the implementing partners reached over 7,500 farmers across Zambia, engaged with 74 private-sector enterprises, and set up 7 SOMs that received and traded over 4,500 MT of maize, groundnuts, soybeans, and sunflower. Sales have topped $1.6 million. Nearly half of the farmers reached are females, and over a quarter are youth. The SOMs continue to bring agriculture inputs, farm implements, and various service providers to smallholder farming communities while promoting Climate-Smart Agriculture technologies at twenty EFF demonstration plots through a participatory learning approach.

Agricultural Productivity: Enhance agricultural productivity through sustainable and climate-smart practices, improved access to quality seeds, fertilisers, and modern technologies, and training for small-scale farmers. b. Irrigation and Water Management: Promote water conservation techniques, efficient irrigation systems, and integrated water resource management to ensure a reliable water supply for agriculture. c. Diversification: Encourage crop diversification to enhance food availability and household nutrition by promoting the cultivation of smart food crops and high-value crops for increased income generation. d. Storage and Distribution: Strengthen post-harvest management and improve storage infrastructure to reduce household food losses; and promote efficient aggregation systems for improved inputs distribution and access to markets. e. Market Linkages & Financial Services: Support the establishment or farmer cooperatives/ organisations for effective produce aggregation and market linkages, and provide technical assistance to enable small-scale producers to access domestic and international markets and financial services, fostering income generation and economic growth. f. Skills Training and Capacity Building: Facilitate agronomic training, entrepreneurship development, and business management skills to enhance the capacity of smallholder farmers and communities to generate sustainable incomes.
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