RWA Zambia Ndola Seed Multiplication

RWA Zambia works with its members in many programs to improve their livelihoods especially in small scale farming.

One of the activities carried out is a seed multiplication program that is making a difference in the preservation and multiplication of indigenous seed. It also aims at encouraging crop diversity in farming to enhance food security. The program provides indigenous seeds to small scale rural women farmers who are struggling to meet the cost of hybrid or chemical seed. The farmers are then able to grow their own food, which not only helps to feed their families but also provides a source of income. It encourages the use of organic methods of farming.

Last year, in November, at the onset of the rain season, RWA Zambia Copperbelt region (Ndola district) identified about 15 RWA Zambia rural women and assisted them with 5Kg of assorted indigenous seed. Among the seeds shared included: beans (kabulangeti, solwezi and red), maize (red and white gankanta), popcorn, cowpeas, pumpkin, sorghum and red millet.

Now that harvest season is almost over, the women met to return the shared seed to help it sustainably assist other women. They returned a similar portion that they were given. The women also shared other products and skills they had learnt to do such as soap and soap making. They also showcased traditional foods cooked from the diverse crops they had grown. They shared farming method experiences and struggles so that others could learn. Among the struggles included for some the beans did not grow, some the seeds were eaten by pests and some planted too early so the seeds were destroyed by the rains in the field.

Overall, the women appreciated the program and indicated that it had a positive impact on the lives of small farmers involved.  It has helped them to increase their crop yields, which has improved their food security and income. The program has also helped to reduce deforestation and soil degradation in the area where the women are based due to the use of organic farming methods.

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