Wednesday, 25 January 2017

PROFIT+ Supports Agric Led Growth

Market systems development approach in Zambia supports agriculture led growth for small scale farmers.
Production, finance and improved technology plus (PROFIT+), a $24 million USAID project supports farmers to increase production and reduce poverty.
Under this initiative, opportunities for farmers in agri-businesses are created to increase productivity and access high value markets, which at the same time allowing private sector investment in specific value chain.
Focusing on improved smallholder productivity, greater access to markets, trade and increased private sector investment, PROFIT+ is fostering economic growth, especially for women.
The project leverages private sector participation that sustains value chain competitiveness and creates economic growth.
“The project engages private sector partners to supply value chain solutions and out-grower schemes that emphasizes permanent transfer of knowledge, information and resources to rural areas,” Ivy Manyuka, PROFIT+ Gender Focus person.
Harmonizing profit driven private sector interest and that of small holder farmers was raised as a concern but the two square off using extension service models not to manipulate the small scale farmers.

Research On Food Choices

On day one of the INGENEAS Global Symposium in Lusaka, one of the thematic sessions featured Emily Lloyd, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health U.S. Borlaug Global Food Security Fellow.
In 2016, Emily conducted a research in Mbala, Northern Zambia on what is important to rural Zambians in the foods they produce and consume.
The outcome of the qualitative research brought out salient issues pertaining to gender, nutrition based on the food choices that that people make.
The researched participants revealed that they make food choices based on their food values which are themselves influenced by the contexts in which they live. These include cost, gender and age dynamics,
According to Emily, each person’s influencing factors and values were perculiar because they are shaped by cultures, economies, life experiences, preferences and other people.
“For example, in high-income countries, people tend to value convenience and taste while in low- and middle-income countries people often prioritize cost and nutrition. Few food choice motives studies in sub-Saharan Africa have been conducted to date,” she said.


The Integrating Gender in nutrition and Agriculture Extensions Services (INGENEAS) Symposium has closed in Lusaka after three days of deliberations.
The symposium which opened in Lusaka on Monday, January 23, 2016 drew participants from various regions of the world including the USA, Europe and many African destinations. Former Agriculture Minister of Zambia chance Kabaghe closed the event with a call for serious investment in extensions services as well as serious integration of gender issues in agriculture, nutrition and extensions services.
According to Kabaghe, issues of gender and extensions services in Zambia are not critical issues, hence the lukewarm service delivery that currently characterises the system.
The symposium was exploring ways in which matters of gender can be infused in agriculture extension services with the view of bridging the parities that obstruct the participation of women in the services identified.