OXFAM Zambia has provided agricultural input support to about 4,000 farmers in Southern and Western provinces to promote diversification.

The organisation will give out various farm inputs worth about US$240,000 to farmers in Kazungulu, Namwala, Lwampa and Mongu districts.

In an interview recently, Oxfam Zambia humanitarian programme coordinator Teddy Kabunda said the project started in April this year and is expected to be complete next month.

“We are providing farmers with supplementary inputs such as maize, tomatoes and vegetable seeds in Southern and Western provinces. The selecting of inputs is done by the farming communities. For maize input, we are just topping up on what farmers get from Government,” Mr Kabunda said.

He said the initiative is aimed at supplementing Government’s efforts in ensuring that farmers adapt to innovative ways of farming that encourages diversification to effectively contribute to poverty reduction.
According to latest statistics by the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute on Zambia’s smallholder participation, in maize cultivation is at 98 percent of the total 1.5 million households while about 80 percent cultivate not more than three crops.