Food Security

Food security is a measure of the

  1. Availability
  2. Accessibility
  3. Affordability of food.

PAM has worked with a number of organizations in ensuring food security across the country. This starts with the introduction of advanced farming technologies, diversification of crops, food preservation and processing. PAM was responsible for the distribution of food security pack and actually built capacity in this for GRZ to continue implementing and has been involved in the distribution of relief food and in currently we are distributing relief food in Senanga, Western Province.

DISASTER RESPONSE

  • PAM through the programme to prevent malnutrition coordinated and implemented the national disaster response programme that followed the 1991/92 drought that affected Zambia
  • Coordinated and implemented food for Assets disaster response programme following the partial drought of 2004/5 that affected the southern half of Zambia.

FOOD SECURITY PACK (FSP) PROGRAMME

  • Implemented by PAM for ten (10) years on behalf of the Zambian through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Finance and National Planning.
  • A total of 591,975 beneficiaries were directly assisted, another 72,182 additional beneficiaries were reached with inputs procured from sales of recoveries.
  • A total of 33, 456 beneficiaries were trained in food processing, utilization and nutrition to add value, improve dietary habits, reduce post-harvest losses and broaden food utilization.

Hunger stop-gap Emergency intervention project

During the drought that occurred in 2004-2005, the stop Hunger gap intervention project was

Implemented on together with the food security pack which was funded by Government through the ministry of community development and social service.

PAM worked with its network collaborating with other non-governmental organization to

Deliver the project. The main objective of the project was to support the rapid distribution of inputs in order to eradicate hunger levels. The support was given to the vulnerable in affected districts in Southern, western central, Lusaka and Eastern provinces of Zambia.

Furthermore, the affected districts were provided with inputs packs an intervention that was aimed to mitigate hunger that was experienced during the months of January to March among these vulnerable groups of people.

The beneficiaries were given food security packs in terms of early maturing seeds like

Cereals, legumes and vegetables. These beneficiaries were identified through the community

Welfare Assistance Committees (CWACs) and Area Food Security Pack Committees (AFSPC) at the community level.

Project results

Results were different from one district to another. This was due to different rainfall patterns, soil type, weeding cultures and availability of pesticides and fertilizer. One similar result across all districts was that crops planted early in good soils had yielded

Challenges

The project couldn’t be implemented without facing any challenges. The following were

Some of the challenges that the project encountered these include, distribution of some inputs

Was a problem because of the bad road network and high transport rates that were charged by some transporters. In addition, some of the beneficiaries did not plant all the seeds that they were given due to poor rainfall pattern, too many rains causing some parts to be too flooded, waterlogging, soil leaching affected the germination of the seeds, too many rains brought too much pest’s infestation and some beneficiaries did not get enough seeds.


Conclusion

The project has contributed to household food diversity and improved the nutrition and health of the beneficiaries. It also helped the beneficiaries to save the seeds and plant them in the next Season. Example of these seeds that were saved for the next season are groundnuts, beans, cowpeas and sweet potatoes.

FOOD SECURITY PACK

EMERGENCY DROUGHT RECOVERY PROJECT (FSP/EDRP)

Following the drought that occurred in 2000/2001 season. The government of Zambia through the office of the vice president secured credit from the international development association to scale up food security pack. FSP/EDRP was implemented by PAM collaborating with other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The programme was initiated in 38 districts of the following provinces Southern, Eastern, Central, North-western and Western. The FSP/EDRP had its activities run for 7 months from the month of October 2004 to April 2005.

Project objectives


  • To promote crop diversification through the diversified supply of seed and planting materials to improve yields and household food security.
  • To promote conservation farming method
  • To improve seed multiplication and access to food through community/seed/cereal banks
  • To promote food processing, utilization, storage and nutrition at the community level


Main objective

The main objective of FSP/EDRP was to improve productivity, household food security and contribute to the reduction of poverty among vulnerable and viable small-scale farmers.

Project activities

The project implemented some of the activities that include, wet crop production which is a traditional practice in the Zambezi west bank and along the riverbanks. This was done in some parts of the western and southern parts of the country. Rainfed crop production germination of all crops in southern western and northwestern was very good. However, they experienced dry spells which affected plant growth. In addition, conservation farming was among the activities that took place which included training the beneficiaries in major technologies to be used in combination like minimum tillage by making basins using hoes and ripping using animal draft power, inorganic fertilizers and lime application, green fertilizers and crop rotation.

Project results

The programme scored a lot of success in the transfer of technical skills that are 95% crop diversification. 60% conservation farming technologies which included inorganic fertilizers and lime application. The programme also so an improvement in beneficiaries to accept certain crops that they resisted to grow earlier.

In addition, the wetland cropping performed very well enhancing household food security amongst the beneficiaries. The project was able to distribute food packs to 36,106 households in at least 2 disadvantaged localities in two different provinces of Southern and Western.

 Challenges


  • The prolonged dry spell that affected all the crop production in months of February to March in all the districts.
  • Some districts in western province were not agreeable to using inorganic fertilizers for fear of affecting the fertility of the soil.
  • Lack of transport to effectively reach the targeted beneficiaries
  • Lack of agriculture staff in some parts of the western province
  • Late reporting of partners to PAM
  • Weak structures at the community level affected the implementation and monitoring of the project.
  • Poor road infrastructure resulting in high transportation cost in some districts.


Conclusion

In spite, of the challenges the project faced, FSP/EDRP performed very well in procuring inputs and distribution of the packs to beneficiaries. However, the prolonged dry spell affected all the districts countrywide resulting in crop losses. Furthermore, beneficiaries that practised conservation farming had better yields than those that did not.