References | Africa, south of Sahara

Programme for Luapula Agricultural and Rural Development (PLARD II)


Agriculture, Natural Resource Management, Employment, Environment and Climate Change, Gender Equality, Health, Market Development, Natural Resource Management

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The overall objective of the programme was to achieve an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural and fisheries sector, ensuring increased income and food security for the people of Luapula Province.

The project was implemented in full alignment with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives' provincial department level. The programme aimed at achieving an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural and fisheries sector, ensuring increased income and food security through supporting five components: Agribusiness; Agriculture; Capture fisheries; Aquaculture; and Institutional/organisational development.

PLARD II supported community-based farmer groups (Commodity Study Groups, CSG) in developing their farms as business via the components:

1) Agribusiness component by developing market-oriented farming and associated commercial services for selected value chains in 1-2 specific products (e.g. rice & cassava), especially in areas of high market and business potential. The activities concentrated on knowledge building, value addition of farm produce, market linkages and increased access to finance. A partnership with the National Farmers Union (ZNFU) resulted capacity building (both farmers and MAL staff) and roll out of credit schemes for the beneficiaries.

2) Agriculture component aimed at more resilient and climate proof farming systems, and raising food security and farm production through crop diversification and increased land and labour productivity (e.g. Irish potato and rice cultivation, introduction of animal draft power, integrated farming, conservation farming). The Agriculture component developed the Commodity Study Group approach focusing on maintaining and improving sustainable crop and livestock production for income, food security and livelihood resilience purposes. The target beneficiaries of the CSG approach were farmers who lived in remote areas of Luapula and were exposed to high risks of food insecurity. Conservation farming practices were used to build soil fertility and raise pH levels and ensure the sustainable productivity increases resulting thereof. These components were implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO) extensions staff and an outsourced service provider with support from a long term TA.

3) Capture fisheries component supported development of Fisheries Management Plans, and establishment and management of community management structures (CMS, e.g. village fisheries committees, VFMC) for sustainable co-management in Mweru-Luapula and Bangweulu fisheries areas, including joint controlling/monitoring of illegal fishing activities by Dept. of Fisheries and the VFMCs. Support to the co-management committees focused on building their capacity to become sustainable and effective partners of government for the sustainable management of the fisheries. A sustainable revenue collection mechanisms based on collection of fish license fees was established. Catch Assessment Surveys were carried out to provide vital information for the management of the fisheries.

4) Aquaculture component contributed to livelihood diversification and food security for households particularly through building MAL’s and farmers’ capacity for fish farming, and developing gene banks and local fingerling production. Also fish farming in cages was successfully promoted in the lakes and lagoons as an alternative income option for fishers. The Aquaculture component contributed to wealth creation and food security for households particularly in areas with low capture fisheries potential

5) Organisational and institutional component focused on strengthening MAL’s capacity on result-based planning, monitoring & evaluation at provincial and district/camp levels (in cooperation with EU/PEP programme). Both human (e.g. hand-on training of districts’ financial staff) and technical (establishment of IFMIS system at provincial and district levels) financial management capabilities were improved. Also public procurements were enhanced through trainings and support. MAL’s capacity to effectively coordinate with private actors, NGOs and other government departments was improved. The long term sustainability of the PLARD interventions depended on the capacity of the Ministry structures at provincial and district level to effectively provide services and an enabling environment for agricultural and fisheries development. Organisational capacity development was in particular addressed during the first years of PLARD II, with a view to develop systems and capacity to a level that allowed effective full alignment of PLARD with government structures and systems as soon as possible.

The emphasis of cross-cutting objectives in PLARD II were on gender equality, reduction of inequalities including issues of vulnerability and HIV/AIDS, and climate sustainability. Both mainstreaming and targeted actions enhanced e.g. women’s participation on improved agriculture & agribusiness, development of HIV/AIDS response strategies, awareness raising and management in fishing communities in swamps and islands. Specific gender and climate change studies were implemented. Access to credit & saving systems was improved.