A female farmer test driving her new tractor received through WFP Zambia support
Copyright WFP Mark Maseko
Through loans given under the Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot project, WFP Zambia is enabling smallholder farmers get their own tractors and other equipment. The results: improved land preparation and higher yields all round...
“I will now be able to till my land in time, plant early and get a good harvest. I did not know I would one day own a tractor,” said Taviness Munyutwa, a smallholder farmer in Mumbwa district, 100 kilometres from Lusaka.
Taviness wants to increase her hectarage, earn more money, send her children to school and reinvest to quickly repay her loan.
Taviness, a widow and mother of four, has been farming for more than 10 years. To date, she has relied on family members using hoes to till her land. This has been inefficient and back-breaking.
Today, Taviness is the proud owner of a Mahindra tractor and a soil ripper. This was made possible through a loan facilitated by the World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with Dunavant Zambia Ltd, a leading cotton ginning company, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) PROFIT project. These partners run a project aimed at creating mechanized land preparation services and expanding smallholders’ access to ripping services. In April this year, 10 tractors and rippers were handed over to emerging farmers in Lusaka. The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, the Honourable Bradford Machila, was the guest of honour.
The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Honourable Bradford Machila said development of the agriculture sector required the participation of all partners, both public and private. And WFP Representative and Country Director Pablo Recalde said the UN in Zambia was happy to partner on this initiative because mechanized early land preparation is key to ensuring timely planting of crops and good productivity. Mr. Recalde added that as part of support by the UN to the government and people of Zambia, WFP wanted to invest in social protection by addressing market failures on the part of smallholder farmers and by stimulating production.
USAID Zambia Mission Director Melissa Williams said economic growth is the key to reducing poverty in Zambia. Dunavant Zambia Managing Director Nigel Seebrook, called on tractor recipients to work hard and show commercial banks that loans to small-scale farmers can be operated successfully.