Project Title: Luangwa Integrated Agriculture Project, Zambia
Duration: 1 February 2013 – 30 April 2017
Evaluation: End-line Evaluation conducted by an independent researcher
ChildFund New Zealand partnered with ChildFund Zambia and the Luangwa Child Development Agency to support three communities in Luangwa over three years to address the issues of food security and sustainable livelihoods within the increasingly frequent context of drought.
Farmers received training, livestock, drought-resistant crops, agroforestry, fencing and water. As a result, crop productivity and livestock productivity increased. Subsequently, food security increased over the life of the project and confidence in food security was high. Committees are in place to maintain irrigation systems and the fences.
Solar powered electric fences constructed in two communities are preventing crop damage from wild animals and have freed up families from having to camp in their fields. Two reconstructed dams are providing irrigation for crops and water for livestock and household use. Families are now able to meet basic living needs such as food, housing and education, and acquire livestock and/or land to cushion against future economic shocks too.
A severe drought occurred during the project, causing crops to fail and preventing the achievement of some targets and the overall goal of diversification. At the height of the drought, Childfund New Zealand and local partners worked with the District Disaster Management Unit to provide emergency relief supplies to farmers. Food relief enabled farming households to continue to work in their fields as the drought subsided, instead of looking for food. This allowed them to get back on their feet faster.
The final cost of the project was NZD 1,038,710 made up of an MFAT contribution of NZD 542,582 and a ChildFund New Zealand contribution of $496,128.
The project succeeded in strengthening the resilience of rural farming communities to the effects of drought, outbreaks of livestock and crop disease, and pests. However, the reliance on income generation or food security activities that are dependent on rain still places these communities at risk to poverty. ChildFund has taken this information on board and is developing ongoing projects that provide a range of alternative income sources to the communities of Luangwa, while also building infrastructure, including access to water.