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In this issue: Empowering women in agric research: Zambia FtF Program local woman scientist window to advance career Photo by JTOliver, IITA.

Nourish Zambia is produced by the Coordination Office of the Zambia FtF R&D Program based at IITA’s Southern Africa Hub in Lusaka. For suggestions or contributions to this newsletter, please email or j.oliver@

Learning from seeing: Over 20,000 farmers benefit from FtF Program Field Days

Learning from seeing: Over 20,000 farmers benefit from FtF Program Field Days


ver 20,000 farmers have been empowered in various technologies courtesy of the Zambia FtF R&D Program. A total of 74 field days under the various component projects of the Program have been conducted across all districts in the Eastern Province. One of the most notable of these field days was the one held at Chief Mzamane’s Palace on 14 March 2013. Here, people were exposed to the performance and benefits of Vitamin A-enriched orange maize. The field day attracted over 525 farmers of which more than half were women. The host, Senior Chief

Mzamane, said, “having grown orange maize over two seasons, I am convinced that the crop performs well and it is wonderful for consumption.” Gracing the field day was Mr Zulu, District Commissioner for Petauke. “All of us should follow the example of our dear leader and His Royal Highness Senior Chief Mzamane in adopting crops that provide both food and nutrition security”, Mr Zulu said. Also present at the field day was the Acting Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture of the Eastern Province.

(Clockwise, from top left): Senior Chief Mzamane showing off his impressive orange maize crop to visitors to his farm. From his one hectare plot, the Chief expects to harvest at least 3 MT this season. This will provide him with sufficient food to last until the next season as well as surplus for sale; Orange maize provides a sweet delicacy never to be missed even on a field day. The Chief was kind enough to give his field day guests a taste of his freshly roasted orange maize crop; The Ngoni Traditional Dance Group entertaining field day participants while delivering message of better nutrition through orange maize.

Improving collaboration with partners through Innovation Platforms: the case of SIMLEZA Women marvel at groundnut postharvest technologies

FtF Program trains 125 community women on soybean processing and utilization


total of 125 women from Chipata and Ketete Districts have been trained over the course of six two-day training workshops on soybean processing and utilization. The women came from eight camps within the two districts. The workshops were conducted from 20 February to 2 March 2013 at the rural community health centers within the participants’ villages. Seventy-five women participated in the training conducted in Chipata district while 50 attended in Katete district. The training workshops aimed to promote household utilization of soybean to improve the nutrition and health of children under 5

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Nourish Zambia, Issue No. 2 (January - June 2013)

FtF Program trains 125 community women... from page 1

and women of childbearing age by incorporating soybean into traditional food products and also by introducing novel soybeanbased products. The participants brought the vegetables that they usually use in their respective communities to the workshops. They were then taught how to incorporate soybean with these local vegetables to maximize the nutritional benefits of both ingredients. During the first day of the training, postharvest technologies such as winnowing (cleaning the grain), sorting to remove the rotten grain and unwanted materials, washing, and soaking the grain were covered. In addition, the importance of personal and environmental hygiene was also discussed. It was emphasized that proper food processing and storage was key in the prevention of the risk of food poisoning. During the second day of the training, participants were taught how to make different types of soybeanbased food such as soymilk, soy-vegetable stew, fried soy-mash (served as relish), and soymilk porridge.

(Left) Vegetable stew; (right) Soy-vegetable stew. The community women were taught how to enrich their traditional dishes with soybean.

Empowering women in agric research: Zambia FtF Program gives local woman scientist window to advance career


or a development project with a finite lifespan to continue to make a difference in people’s lives long after it has ended, it must build local capacities to ensure sustainability and continuation of its impact. Through its postgraduate scholarship program, the USAID-funded Zambia Feed-theFuture Research and Development Program is giving local agricultural scientists not only the opportunity for advance their personal careers but more so to help Zambian farmers and contribute to their country’s long-term agricultural development. Such is the case of Kaubi Naomi Hacholi, a Senior Agricultural Officer with Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock – one of the many local partners working with the Zambia FtF R&D Program. Kaubi is one of 14 Zambian agricultural researchers who received a scholarship grant from the program. Her field of expertise is the management of maize pests and diseases and legume cropping systems and she will conduct research on Characterization of maize germplasm for resistance to Striga asiatica in southern Africa.



Kaubi Naomi Hacholi, Zambia FtF Program scholar.

Kaubi’s expertise is a perfect fit with one of the Program’s objectives of doubling maize productivity in the country without expanding the current cultivated area. This will be done through the adoption of more intensive, sustainable, and resilient farming systems that integrate legumes and which are climate-smart and require lesser fertilizer, water, and labor.

Under the scholarship, Kaubi will help develop and introduce improved pest and disease management strategies for maize, better seed varieties, and precision maize and legume agriculture technologies that are adapted to the conditions of Zambian resource-poor farmers. “I’ve always been passionate about helping smallholder farmers in my country, and this is the reason I studied Agricultural Sciences at BSc level with a major in Crop Sciences,” Kaubi said. “People told me that Crop Sciences is not for women, but I wanted to prove them wrong – I believe that women can do it, and even do it better than most men,” she enthused. After graduating with a BSc in Agricultural Sciences in 2007, Kaubi took a job with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Chilabombwe District in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. “Trying to find ways to manage pests and diseases and to improve cropping systems have always interested me. Working in the rural areas is always a learning but heartbreaking, experience

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Nourish Zambia, Issue No. 2 (January - June 2013)

Zambia FtF Program gives local woman scientist window... continued from page 2

– seeing how our agricultural have degraded to the point of being almost entirely useless to our farmers, yet they persevere,” she says. “If people continue to employ destructive ways to produce food, we may feed ourselves today but eventually suffer in the long-run in terms of food security and sustainable development in Africa.” “And this is where the scholarship grant from the FtF Program will benefit the country as this will enable the development of local expertise to tackle local and specific problems,”

she added. Kaubi derives the greatest satisfaction from her work when she sees positive changes in areas where farmers have adopted improved and sustainable crop management technologies. “It’s really hard work, but seeing a farmer and his family happy because they have enough to eat and also sell is enough reward for me,” she beamed. “When I visit a community, people offer me food and are very cooperative, which is their way of saying ‘Thank you, you’re doing a good job.’ That means a lot

to me because farmers have to see that something works before they will adopt it.” “I would like to thank the USAID and the FtF Program for selecting me as one of its scholars,” Kaubi says. “This is a unique opportunity for me, especially being a woman. Female scientists are often marginalized, especially in my country. With this scholarship, I know that I will be able to be at the forefront of fighting poverty and hunger in Zambia,” she concluded.

Improving collaboration with partners through Innovation Platforms: the case of SIMLEZA


hrough Innovation Platforms (IP), SIMLEZA brings on board a wide range of stakeholders within an innovation system framework to catalyze transformation of agricultural research in Eastern Province. This concept deviates from the traditional linear configuration of agricultural research for development by encouraging the engagement of multi actors along the maize and legume value chains for the promotion of the process of innovation in the agricultural system. As such innovation evolves through the interaction among players, utilization of feedback, analysis and incorporation of lessons learnt between processes. This framework creates a network that considers technical, social and institutional constraints in an environment that facilitates learning. From 19 to 21 February 2013, SIMLEZA held a workshop on IP to assess progress of related partner activities under the project, reinforce the role of IP, and evaluate developments in gender-related activities. Twentyeight participants from SIMLEZA partner institutions attended the 3-day workshop, which was held at the Crystal Springs Hotel in Chipata.

A local community IP meeting of the SIMLEZA project in Chipata.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr Therese Gondwe, Technology Dissemination Specialist based at IITA-Zambia, and Dr Jim Ellis Jones, consultant with MIRACLE, another project being implemented by IITA. During the workshop, representatives from each SIMLEZA District (Chipata, Lundazi, and Katete) reported on their progress during the 2012-2013 season. Based on these presentations, six key issues were identified and discussed

in groups: (1) the role of CACs as local IP; (2) the role of each district as a strategic IP; (3) the importance of gender considerations in activities; (4) input markets in particular seed and agro-chemicals; (5) output markets; (6) health, nutrition and crop utilization training. As part of the workshop, participants also visited Chanje and Mtaya camps in Chipata District where they conducted a transect walk to view the

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Nourish Zambia, Issue No. 2 (January - June 2013)

Improving collaboration with partners through Innovation Platforms... continued from page 2

work of research farmers (motherbaby trials), community volunteers, and seed farmers as well as discuss project activities with lead farmers. The participants were impressed by the activities of the seed farmers, the participatory variety selection (PVS), and agronomy trials, which they indicated offered many learning opportunities. The participants also identified other opportunities to improve the implementation of the project. These include involving other Feed-the-

Future projects with district and camp IP similar to how SIMLEZA interacts; linking ZamSeed with seed producers to ensure quality of seed produced, assured market for the seeds from the 2012-2013 harvest season, assured supply of new seed to farmers for the 2013-2014 planting season, and negotiating with farmers to produce seed under contract; involving ATS in training on the safe and effective use of herbicides and pesticides; providing nutrition and crop utilisation training to each farmer group through IP; and

establishing if the adoption uptake pathways identified through the Camp Agricultural Committees (CACs) is an effective way of promoting farmer-tofarmer extension. At the end of the workshop, the participants agreed that District IPs should play a key role in support of CAC IPS to improve their capacity, provide effective communication, and a pathway for scaling out SIMLEZA technologies to new areas.

Women marvel at groundnut postharvest technologies


omen in Eastern Zambia are marvelling at the magic groundnut post harvesting Technologies can do in reducing labour associated with groundnut production. In Zambia, groundnut is considered to be a women’s crop in Zambia mainly because it is produced as a food and not cash crop. Whereas the perception is that the income derived from any sales of the crop should benefit women, this is not always the case. As income generated from groundnut production increases, it has been observed that the production dynamics may start to shift towards greater involvement by men. However, the labour may still be provided mainly by women as men concentrate on production of the cash crops. Therefore, labour saving devices will reduce the drudgery for women involved in groundnut production and free their time to engage in other activities. In addition, the labour saving equipment would hasten the post-harvest processing thus leading to a better quality product and timely marketing. ICRISAT has conducted demonstrations to farmers on the use of shelling and processing equipment to enhance household utilization by making of Peanut butter and oil. On completion of satisfactory testing and demonstrations,

the project procured eight shellers and provided them to farmers who were involved in seed production for further testing at the community level. Another set of eight shellers were procured by Eastern Province Farmers’ Co-operative (EPFC) for testing with their members who are also involved in seed production Shelling by hand is generally labor intensive. However, with simple machine shelling, output A local woman community member trying out the shelling could be increased by almost machine. four times. This is would drastically reduce the time taken to complete the shelling stage and provide nuts to make Butter at household level. physical relief to the women farmers who It is a labor process and takes more time are the major source of labor for this work. to get the butter into a fine paste. A new In addition, there are currently no piece of equipment is being demonstrated good ways of producing peanut butter at to all target groups. The processing is household level. Through the FfF project, easy, faster and the quality of the butter is a simple machine is being demonstrated good. to women groups at the project sites During one of the field visits by FtF in order to create awareness on value Visitors during the last season, peanut addition at the household level for processing was demonstrated at two improved nutrition. One liter of oil can be communities in Chipata District. Farmers extracted from 3 kg of groundnuts. were excited to learn this new method of Peanut butter is one of the products peanut butter making and have indicated farmers enjoy from groundnuts. Locally, willingness to buy the equipment. women use pestle and mortar to grind the

Zambia FtF R&D Program Implementing Partners:



This newsletter is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of the Zambia FtF R&D Program and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Nourish Zambia Newsletter (Issue No. 2, Jan-June 2013)  

Issue No. 2 of the Nourish Zambia Newsletter, the official bulletin of the Zambia Feed-the-Future R&D Program. This issue covers the period...

Nourish Zambia Newsletter (Issue No. 2, Jan-June 2013)  

Issue No. 2 of the Nourish Zambia Newsletter, the official bulletin of the Zambia Feed-the-Future R&D Program. This issue covers the period...