Caritas Czech Republic, in collaboration with the World Food Programme and with the support of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is spearheading innovative solutions to combat climate change and enhance the resilience of smallholder farmers in Zambia.
The initiative, launched in April 2022, targets six districts in Western Province which include Sioma, Senanga, Sesheke, Kaoma, Mongu, and Mulobezi, aiming to address the extensive crop failures and livestock diseases exacerbated by drought.
The Western Province, acting as the country’s water reservoir, faces challenges due to semi-arid soils, making farming difficult and increasing vulnerability to disasters.
The project focuses on disaster risk reduction, climate resilience, and the adaptation and mitigation of risks in the region.
Through collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Agriculture Zambia and the World Food Programme Zambia, Caritas Czech Republic is introducing cutting-edge solutions.
The project aims to strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Agriculture in the target districts, focusing on climate information, weather index insurance, and virtual markets.
Bupe Mukwemba, a 62-year-old farmer from Kaoma district, expressed gratitude for the knowledge gained through the initiative. “I thank Caritas Czech Republic for teaching us that sorghum, millet, rice, and cowpea can withstand climate change shocks,” said Mukwemba, highlighting the importance of climate-resilient crops.
Innovative technological solutions are a key component of the initiative. Caritas Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Food Programme, has introduced the Maano App.
This app facilitates connections between farmers and buyers, enabling smallholders to access markets and sell their produce at equitable prices. The app, available for an annual subscription fee of less than 1USD, is accessible on both smartphones and feature phones.
Additionally, farmers are encouraged to take advantage of agricultural insurance, specifically satellite-based weather index insurance.
This insurance, easily paid out through mobile money, protects farmers against losses associated with below-average rainfall or droughts.
Private partners involved in providing agriculture insurance include Mayfair Insurance Company, ZISC General Insurance, Madison General Insurance, and Professional Insurance.
Caritas Czech Republic in Zambia considers environmental protection and climate change as cross-cutting issues in all its activities.
The organization has undertaken various projects promoting conservation farming methods, energy-saving cooking methods, and environmental sustainability.
Notably, initiatives in refugee settlements focus on tree planting, seedling multiplication centers, and climate resilience training.
The comprehensive approach of Caritas Czech Republic is contributing to the fight against climate change and empowering Zambian farmers to build resilience, access markets, and secure their livelihoods in the face of a changing climate.