The European Union and the Zambian Government have signed 87 million Euro grant (equivalent to more than 1 billion Kwacha) Financing Agreement for a programme to support the “Sustainable Commercialization of Zambia’s Smallholder Farmers”.
In line with Zambia’s 7th National Development Plan and the National Agricultural Policy 2016-2020, the European Union’s new programme will help small-scale farmers to graduate from low productive agriculture towards more diversified and market-oriented commercial farming, while increasing their income and improving their food and nutrition security.
The programme will promote new investments and develop the most promising agriculture value chains by easing the access to finance, services and inputs.
The European Union’s grants will leverage additional financing from the private sector and European Financial Institutions such as the European Investment Bank – the EU Bank – and the Agence Française de Développement.
Loans at favourable conditions will be made available through local financial institutions for on-lending operations to farmers and agribusinesses.
Access to more affordable finance may be combined with partial de-risking through guarantees and technical assistance for both farmers and local finance institutions.
The European Union will also build upon its long-standing commitment to sustainable agriculture and will support climate smart cropping and land management techniques, as well as durable smallholder water management and irrigation systems.
Finally, this new programme will support Zambia’s efforts to curb the high malnutrition prevalence through a contribution to the SUN Fund in support of the implementation of the Government’s First 1,000 Most Critical Days Programme.
The Programme will have a duration of five years and will start at the beginning of 2019.