Innovative Technologies for Agricultural in the face of Climate Change
The Center for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development (CCARDESA) is attending a national Dissemination Conference for the Agricultural Productivity Programme for Southern Africa (APPSA) in Lusaka, Zambia. The conference is organised by the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) which is under the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia. The theme for the conference is “Innovative technologies in the face of Agricultural Transformation in the face of Climate Change”. The main purpose of the conference is to share and disseminate results arising from the implementation of research and development activities including the varieties that were released under the APPSA programme with support from the World Bank.
The minister of agriculture, Hon Michael Katambo who officially opened the conference reminded the conference participants to see the conference as an opportunity to share experiences and information relevant for the development and the promotion of innovative agricultural technologies in the face of climate change. Small-scale farmers form about 80% of farmers in Zambia. Hon. Katambo also urged the delegates to embark on the implementation of the sustainable development goals, particularly those relating to ending poverty, hunger and improved nutrition to promote sustainable agriculture. The minister urged researchers to encourage the crop diversification which is a key driver to the economic growth of the country.
Ms Futhi Magagula, the APPSA programme officer who spoke on behalf of CCARDESA’s acting executive director, Dr Simon Mwale, thanked the government of Zambia for making the APPSA programme a success in Zambia. She further added that the success in Zambia had given countries like Lesotho and Angola the impetus to also join the APPSA implementing countries. She highlighted the remarkable success that CCARDESA has achieved under research development, capacity building, Information & knowledge management and infrastructure development under the APPSA programme. Ms Magagula urged Zambia to consider accelerating progress towards a second phase of the project so that the outputs that are being shared now can be as a stepping stone towards a new transformative phase of the project.
Achievements of the APPSA project in Zambia, are evident from a visit to the Mount Makulu Research Centre where amazing infrastructure that has been constructed. APPSA also financed the acquisition of laboratory equipment in the gene banks and the constructed irrigation facilities in Mount Makulu and Kabwe research stations among others.
The conference attracted over 150 people who included academics, farmers, researchers, private sector, development agencies, non-governmental organisations and the media fraternity. The studies that were conducted to generate the seed varieties were also presented at the conference alongside the posters presentations.
The APPSA programme is funded by the World Bank and is currently implementing programmes in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia and has recently spread its implementation to Lesotho and Angola. The countries depending on their economic status acquire loans and grants from the bank to address their identified priorities within the agricultural sector in support of their national agricultural development objectives. CCARDESA is coordinating the APPSA programme at a regional level on behalf of the participating countries.