A partnership between the Africa Agricultural Development Company (AgDevCo) and Saise Farming Enterprises will provide seeds for over 100 smallholders in Zambia's Northern Province, both organisations have claimed
The deal seeks to promote the substitution of seed potato imports to support farming employment and food security in Zambia.
The project will invest in irrigation and power infrastructure in a total area of 250 hectares (ha), as well as in farm equipment, sheds, cold stores, and machinery. It will create 80 full time jobs of which 50 per cent will be for women, according to AgDevCo.
The first stage will concentrate on preparing 15 ha of land for planting, while 55 ha of the land will be exclusively used for irrigation. Smallholders will be able to grow potatoes using seeds to lift their annual income by US$316 per annum, AgDevCo claims.
The organisation said it expects to substitute 50 per cent of seed potato imports with this initiative and 'pave the way' for similar future projects for soybeans and wheat.
AgDevCo currently manages a portfolio of US$12mn on social impact projects in Zambia that represent 15.78 per cent of the company’s total investment in Africa.
To date, the development of six social impact projects have created or sustained 523 jobs and linked 13,067 farmers to markets in Zambia.