The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in Zambia with technical support from IAPRI is implementing a five-year programme dubbed the Zambia Growth Opportunities (ZAMGRO) Program for Results (PforR) which seeks to promote Agricultural Diversification, sustainability and jobs in the Agri-food sector in Zambia. The programme was launched in February 2023 and is being funded by the World Bank and supported by the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA). The GCA is working with Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture to Enhance Climate-Change Adaptation and Resilience under the Zambia Growth Opportunities (ZAMGRO) PforR project.

IAPRI’s technical Assistance is focused on four Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) under the ZAMGRO i.e.:

  1. DLI 5: Facilitation of Private Sector investment in the Farm Block Development Program
  2. DLI 7: Scaling up extension services for Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)

iii. DLI 8: Construction, expansion and institutional development of irrigation schemes

  1. DLI 9: Rehabilitation of feeder roads in high potential agriculture areas

Today Tuesday the 28th of November 2023, IAPRI with other stakeholder held the validation meeting on Digital Climate Adaptation and Advisory Services (DCAS) and Job Creation at Southern Sun Hotel. DCAS are digital services that provide climate information and advice to small-scale farmers and other value chain actors to help them integrate climate information into agricultural decision-making thereby adapting to climate variability and change and building resilience to the climate impacts that threaten present and future agri-food systems (Ferdinand, Illick-Frank et al. 2021). With access to DCAS, entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector can improve their productivity, and reduce their risks. Digital services include digitally enabled printed bulletins based on climate models, radio, online platforms, and mobile apps, as well as extension services that make use of climate information platforms. In addition, DCAS, if well implemented can create opportunities for youth to engage in the digital economy and build successful agri-businesses in Zambia and the region at large. Farmers can make precise decisions concerning pesticides, seeding, irrigation, labor, crops to plant and planting dates if they have access to DCAS. In addition, DCAS enables farmers to better predict spraying times by tracking historical weather patterns for the exact area and better anticipate disease risks through weather patterns and conditions.