Damien from the UoS E4D team was in Zambia from 21st to 25th March meeting with Christian Aid’s ‘Making Agriculture a Business‘ project team.
The E4D team will be supporting the project with the design, procurement and deployment of 4 solar powered irrigation demonstration schemes. These will be linked to new farmer cooperative groups and will act as ‘incubation hubs’ with the goal of wider adoption of the technology. As the project progresses, renewable energy powered bulking centers will also be deployed. The E4D team will be gathering and disseminating the learning produced by the project – focusing on the role of renewable energy in supporting agricultural sustainable economic development.
During the month of March, Churches Health Association in Zambia (CHAZ), the implementing partner, are conducting baselining in the target communities. This was a chance for Damien to join them in Kabwe district and meet some of the smallholder farmers. Many of the farmers have existing efforts underway in crop diversification and irrigation; however, lack access to the right support or technology to take this further.
The next stage of the project will be to establish the location and crops that the cooperative will farm and then design of the irrigation system will commence.