CSA Zambia Project

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 09:05

Overview of CSAZ

The Climate Smart Agriculture in Zambia (CSAZ) programme will utilise up to £25 million of UK International Climate Fund resources between 2016 and 2020. CSAZ is implemented by the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU). Climate Smart Agriculture can incorporate a wide range of practices, incorporating agronomy, soil and water conservation, livestock management and agro-forestry. In the case of CSAZ, the focus is on conservation farming, which is based on three key principles:

1) minimal soil disturbance through minimum tillage*

2) protecting the top soil with organic soil cover/crop residues

3) crop rotation with legumes

CFU promotes the adoption of conservation farming by recruiting a network of Farmer Coordinators (FCs) which offer training to a group of up to 90 farmers per FC each year. This training covers the principles of conservation farming along with information about other good agricultural practices. At the start of the programme, there were 1,690 Farmer Coordinators from CFU’s previous work. Since July 2016, the programme has recruited a further 1,010 FCs, bringing the total to 2,700. Farmer Coordinators cover 36 Districts across Zambia.

As part of the CFU exit strategy, qualified Farmer Coordinators will provide CFU-supported training for two years before transitioning to a fully private-sector model where FCs act as community agro-dealers offering farming advice in order to increase sales of equipment and inputs. As a result, CFU is actively collaborating with a range of private sector partners to explore opportunities to attract ongoing private finance in support of its extension network.

CFU also facilitates training for tillage service providers, including linking potential ripping service providers to banks for loans to purchase tractors and other equipment. A programme of research activities also aims to collect evidence on soil and yield changes from 93 trial plots across the CFU operational area.

* Minimum tillage is promoted through three different options where appropriate, namely hoe/basin farming, ripping using animal draught power and mechanised ripping using tractors.

 CSAZ Impact Evaluation

This evaluation will assess the CSAZ programme to determine its impact on resilience, increased income, food security and social benefits at household level. The evaluation will be implemented by a WYG-led consortium contracted through the DFID Global Evaluation Framework Agreement (GEFA). The consortium consists of the UK-based LTSI International (LTSI), the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI), and the US-based Cloudburst Consulting Group. 

The evaluation has a dual accountability and learning purpose. The majority of the evaluation team’s effort will be directed to learning about the programme’s impacts, with additional evaluation questions helping to contextualise the findings and to generate lessons learned for future implementation design. The focus of this Impact Evaluation will be to assess relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability.

Learning

The evaluation is expected to strengthen the evidence-base on climate smart agriculture in order to inform CSAZ programme performance and also to influence policy and practice of the Government and other programmes in Zambia. The evaluation team has identified key stakeholders and developed a communication plan which aims to enhance the visibility of the evaluation findings and to promote uptake amongst key stakeholders. If you would like to be included in the email list of interested stakeholders, please send us an email: