Countries > Zambia > Background
Overview Background Solutions Documents

A land-locked country in southern Africa, Zambia has 48 million hectares of land suitable for agricultural use. There is ample rainfall across most of the country for rearing livestock, growing wet-season crops and storing water for use during the dry season. However, national goals, such as achieving food security for at least 90% of households and increasing incomes for people working in agriculture, have yet to be met. Reasons for this failure include lack of access to improved technologies, high irrigation costs and low levels of investment in farming.

The Zambian Development Agency is offering incentives for investors, and irrigation is considered a key investment activity. The AgWater Solutions Project has been working in Zambia for two years to identify promising agricultural water management (AWM) solutions and the supporting factors and investment opportunities that will promote wider uptake of AWM technologies and practises. Project members initially reviewed existing AWM practises and their geographical context using field observations, secondary data sources, household interviews and discussions with key organisations. Some of the existing technologies and practices include:

Madhya Pradesh
West Bengal
In-situ seepage systems such as wetlands,dambos and recession systems.
Conservation Agriculture, including in-situ water and soil management practices.
Basic water application models, for example buckets, plastic containers and clay pots.
Low-cost water lifting devices such as treadle pumps and rope-and-washer.
Motorized water lifting pumps – diesel and electric.
Small dams and micro-irrigation.
Diversion weirs – transitional and permanent structures.
Outgrower schemes – a range of contractual partnerships between landholders ("growers") and companies.

More information about these AWM solutions and the background situation in the country can be found in the Situation Analysis Briefing Notes.

Based on the initial review and advice from a range of stakeholders in Zambia, the project team subsequently carried out more in-depth research on a selection of these solutions. Meetings and workshops were held as part of the dialogue process and the results can be found on the Solutions page for Zambia.

Activities to Date
Inception and Midterm Workshops

An inception workshop for the entire project was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2009. The project plan was discussed and work plan details were agreed for all countries. In January 2010, a midterm project workshop was held in Lusaka, Zambia, which was attended by representatives from each country where the project is being undertaken. The participants reviewed progress, adapted work plans, and further detailed outputs and outreach plans for all countries.

Situation Analysis of AWM Technologies
The Farming Systems Association of Zambia (FASAZ) was contracted to review the situation of AWM in Zambia. The purpose of this was to provide background material on and analysis of:

Existing environmental, hydrological and climatic conditions.
National institutional and policy frameworks related to AWM.
Typologies of existing AWM practices and their geographic spread.
Key actors who are supporting the development of AWM in each region.
Promising AWM solutions that merit further detailed study.

The output consisted of a comprehensive report titled, "Agricultural Water Management Solutions: The Situational Analysis in Zambia". A summary of the findings is also available as a briefing note on the project website.

National Consultation Workshop

A National Consultation Workshop was held on July 31, 2009, in collaboration with the Agricultural Consultative Forum. About 30 participants representing government policymakers and program managers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and researchers attended. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the AgWater Solutions project, share experience of AWM, present and discuss the findings of the Situation Analysis, and prioritize promising AWM technologies in Zambia for further study. Those priorities are elaborated below in the case studies. A summary of the workshop minutes is available as a briefing note on the project website.

Mapping AWM Potential and Solutions in Zambia
A workshop was held in Lusaka, Zambia, on January 25, 2010, to discuss the out-scaling of promising AWM solutions. The objectives of this session were to:
Define a typology of livelihood zones in Zambia;
Prepare a national map locating the main livelihood zones of Zambia; and
Identify the potential of promising AWM solutions in Zambia for poverty reduction in each of these livelihood zones.

Gendered Mapping Workshop

A gender mapping workshop was held in May 2010, which was attended by Zambia's key gender experts and other interested parties. The participants compiled a gender map of cropping systems, as shown below. The map differentiates between male farming systems, where the majority of farm decision-makers are men; female farming systems, where most farm decision-makers are women; and various patterns in-between.

Field Level Case Studies

Following up on the Situation Analysis and National Consultation Workshop, a number of case studies on promising AWM solutions were initiated as follows:

Soweto fresh produce market

A case study was carried out on the Soweto Fresh Produce Market. The findings have been documented.

Gender in AWM technology adoption

Qualitative field studies were carried out on the gendered organization of farming and its impact on the adoption of a range of AWM technologies. The study was conducted in four sites with both matrilineal and patrilineal land tenure in Zambia.

AWM technology adoption

This is a national comparative field survey on gendered adoption of Zambia's main AWM technologies (buckets, dambos, treadle pumps, hand pumps, rope-and-washer pumps, traditional river diversions and public irrigation schemes). The study was carried out in Mpika, Katuba, Monze and Sinazongwe.

Small reservoirs

A study was carried out to compare small reservoirs in Ghana with those in Zambia.

Watershed Level Case Studies
The project is carrying out two complementary research tasks in the Katuba Watershed to assess the:
Hydrological impact of current and potential AWM interventions;
Formal and informal institutional capacity to deal with AWM interventions and potential emerging externalities.