Rice is becoming an important crop for Zambia since consumption is rapidly increasing, particularly in urban areas. The domestic production is 29,600 tons, which covers only half of the domestic demand (FAO2019), and the shortfall is imported from neighbor countries and Asia. To enhance food security, the government positions rice as an important cash crop and a strategic crop for “Crop Diversification”, aiming at diversifying the cropping system that is extremely dependent on maize.
Market Oriented Rice Development project (MOReDeP) is a project jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture of Zambia (MoA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with an objective to promote rice cultivation as a cash crop in Zambia. It is expected to contribute to increasing the domestic rice production and supporting the government’s policy on the crop diversification. For this purpose, MOReDeP mainly conducts 1) researching and developing rice cultivation techniques that are flexible and favorable to various ecologies in Zambia, 2) formulating “Rice Clusters” while conducting extension activities to spread the use of the techniques across farmers, and 3) enhancing farmers’ knowledge and business skills to improve their income by selling produced rice.