Social Learning on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification: Perspectives from the Conservation Agriculture Scaling-up (CASU) project in Southern Province, Zambia

In Zambia, SAIRLA has supported We-Effect to bring together a National Learning Alliance (NLA) – a network of stakeholders drawn from government, research and academia, private sector, farmer organisations, the media, non-governmental organisations and interested members of the public. The NLA is a platform for social learning around SAI research, best practices, and policy and investment processes. The NLA is organised around social learning themes; land equity, trade-offs – intensification vs extensification – and extension services. Each theme is led by a thematic group.

The trade-offs thematic group, that prepared this report, facilitated stakeholders to engage with evidence and tools on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) using the case of Conservation Agriculture promoted by the Conservation Agriculture Scaling Up (CASU) project. An important reason for engagement with projects is to facilitate sharing and learning with a wider community, ultimately including policy makers, civil society organisations, donors and private sector.

The Conservation Agriculture Scaling-up (CASU) project (2013 – 2017) was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Government of Zambia. The €11 million programme was funded by the European Union via the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It aimed at bringing CA to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture for over 315, 000 farmers in nine out of Zambia’s ten provinces. The overall objective of the Conservation Agriculture Scaling-up (CASU) project was to contribute to reduced hunger and improved food security, nutrition and income in Zambia, while promoting sustainable use of natural resources. The project’s purpose was to increase crop productivity and production for the targeted farmers of which 40% were supposed to be women.

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