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Zambia: The African Development Fund approved a loan for $14.4 million to improve food security in the area’s breadbasket

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In Zambia, $14.4 million loan has been granted by the Boar of Directors of the African Development Fund, the concessional arm of the African Development Bank Group, to help Zambia, a major provider of food to the region, improve its food security.

The African Emergency Food Production Facility of the African Development Bank Group serves as the foundation for the funding. It would use ICT platforms and innovation to distribute certified seeds and fertilizer to 45,000 beginning farmers in Zambia using already-established private sector distribution channels. Through an electronic infrastructure that improves transparency, accountability, and sustainability, women and young people will receive seeds that are 50{c59f2d9e93250d9a3f00f33c4784bba748f246721195afccc412c2cbc44f328a} subsidized. The project will support the Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation initiative’s adoption of tried-and-true climate-smart agricultural practices (TAAT). The adoption of changes to trade and agricultural policy will be another result.

As part of the anticipated results, farmers will receive 36,000 metric tons of fertilizer and 3,000 metric tons of enhanced seeds. Fertilizer costs at the farm gate will also be cut in half. Thirdly, a partial credit guarantee program will stabilize prices by putting over 100,000 metric tons of fertilizer on the local market. Over 90,000 hectares of maize and soya will be planted, with an incremental annual output of 265,000 metric tons valued at $43.72 million. This will prevent 200,000 metric tons of possible food imports. The average agricultural income will increase to $500 year from $350.

The Russia-Ukraine crisis has had an influence on Zambia, as it has elsewhere on the continent, with inflationary repercussions seen in a number of different industries. Between February and April 2022, the Basic Nutrition Basket’s average price jumped from about $385.50 to over $510. In 2022, farm gate fertilizer costs ranged from $50.55 to $60.65 per 50kg bag, up from a $30.30 average the previous year.

The nation also expects a decline in the production of staple cereals in 2022–2023. Zambia produced about 600,000 metric tons less maize in 2022 than it did in 2021, totaling 2.7 million metric tons. In addition, a strong demand from neighbors with a food scarcity could result in shortages.

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