The Farmers’ Club Irrigation Project was completed successfully in December 2013. The project involved 5,000 small scale farmers in 4 districts in Central and Copperbelt provinces and noted significant results including increased average land under irrigation from 0.68 ha to 1,52 ha (increased 124%), and increased asset base from 1109 USD to 1790USD (61% increase).
The full name of the project was“Community Water Management Improvement Project for Traditional Farmers” and it was funded by African Water Facility and managed by the African Development Bank. It was facilitated by DAPP in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) from 2009 to 2013.
The project organized 5000 small holder farmers in 100 Farmers’ Clubs. They were trained to improve farming methods with focus on vegetable production, marketing of their produce, irrigation methods, soil conservation and farm management and budgeting among others. The success of the project is attributed to the Farmers’ Club structure, through which the farmers support, inspire and put demands to each other, as well as the good implementation carried out by DAPP staff, government extension officers and CETZAM financial services.
A total of 1033 farmers received micro finance to boost their production and many farmers invested in irrigation equipment. Most popular was investment in small motorised pumps and the number of farmers having and using such pumps increased from 3.1% to 25.1%. Other irrigation methods include the use of fallow irrigation which increased from 12.3% to 20.6%, rope pumps and treadle pumps increasing from 4.3% to 18.3%.
An external evaluation was conducted by Pathmark Rural Development Consult Ltd. A stakeholder dissemination meeting to present the findings of the evaluation was conducted at Mulunugushi International Conference Centre on 29 January 2014 and officially opened by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock. In attendance were the ADB Country Director Dr. Kwesiga, Permanent Secretaries, ZNFU, Private Sector and the media. For more information read about the DAPP Farmers Clubs or download the External Evaluation for the project.