In Zambia, insufficient market incentives and a lack of cost-effective farmer trainings is preventing the adoption of sustainable, eco-agricultural farming practices.
Farmers do not have access to premium markets that would provide the income necessary to use sustainable farming and land use practices as well as purchase expensive inputs that would improve crop yields. Additionally, there is a gender disparity in accessing markets and community leadership positions.
Farmer organizations are unable to provide the farmer trainings, as they are too weak to mobilize local manpower, leadership, and the skills to address such challenges. This leaves deforestation, soil degradation, livelihood risks due to climate change threats, diminished water resources, and increased soil run-off unaddressed.
COMACO meets the growing market demand for cost-effective, energy-efficient products by supporting agroforestry-based farming that reduces fertilizer use and improves nutrition, food supply and income opportunities. Through its product brand, It’s Wild! Products, the innovator sells smallholder farmers’ products of peanut butter, rice, honey, dried mango and mushrooms, and others. The waste from the production of its food products is re-used; for instance, ground nut shells are recycled into briquettes.
To support the development of farmer cooperatives’ operations and conservation efforts, COMACO provides training, performs audits in return for conservation dividend payments, and does radio broadcasts to maintain a gender inclusive learning platform and disseminate knowledge.
IT’S WILD BRAND – MADE IN ZAMBIA, MADE FOR GREEN ECONOMY (Times of Zambia)
Caring about conservation is not enough. We need to make it pay (African Arguments)
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