The World Bank Group has invited Hivos to participate in the “Enabling the Business of Agriculture” (EBA) study which is envisioned as a tool to inform and encourage policy change in the agricultural sector.
According to a World Bank statement, Hivos was selected because of its sustainable agricultural programmes and its involvement in improving the dairy sector in Zambia. Since 2013, Hivos has been implementing an innovative project in Zambia called the Chongwe Green Village in partnership with the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), the Dairy Association of Zambia and the Micro Bankers Trust (MBT). The project, which employs a market-based approach, integrates dairy farming, clean energy, that is, biogas and solar, organic farming, agro forestry, agro processing and provision of credit facilities to farmers.
Based on the lessons learned from the project, Hivos is expected to contribute data on the development of a market-oriented livestock sector in Zambia, in particular, the dairy sector.
“Development partners are recognising the role that Hivos is playing in facilitating innovations to enhance incomes and improve livelihoods in Zambia. The invitation by the World Bank is for Hivos indeed a stamp of recognition of our innovative approach to changing the face of agriculture in the country,” said Wesley Litaba Wakun’uma, Hivos’ Project Manager in Zambia.
Wakun’uma said that Hivos is working to change mindsets among smallholder farmers in Zambia through green ways of doing business.
Zambia is one of the thirty countries selected by the World Bank to be part of the 2014-2015 EBA data collection cycle. Ten pilot countries were selected for initial testing including Ethiopia, Guatemala, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, the Philippines, Rwanda, Spain, Uganda and Ukraine.
The EBA project focuses on identifying and monitoring regulations and policies that affect agriculture and agribusiness markets. The aim is to provide policy makers with evidence-based tools to make informed policy choices that support inclusive participation in agricultural value chains and foster an environment that is conducive to local and regional business in agriculture.
The final EBA report will summarise the main findings collected for Zambia, and compare these results with those found in other economies. Even though livestock contributes approximately 3,2 per cent to Zambia’s national GDP and 42 per cent to the agricultural GDP; the livestock budget allocation is only about 17 per cent of the agriculture budget.
Dairy farming is one of the most significant agri-businesses activities in Zambia. The industry is driven mainly by small-scale farmers who contribute 60 per cent of the total milk production in the country.
With better policy frameworks and realignment of spending priorities within the agricultural sector, the dairy sector has potential to make a greater contribution to Zambia’s economy, improving lives and livelihoods in the process.