SAI has been defined as (i) producing more output from a given area of land while reducing the negative environmental impacts and increasing contributions to natural capital and the flow of environmental services (Pretty et al., 2011) or (ii) practices that aim at increasing food production in response to the demands of the growing population and reduce vulnerability to shocks and stresses, while conserving critical ecological services (Masumba et al., 2017). Zambia, through its agriculture, forestry and environment policies, has documented the need for interventions to support sustainable agriculture and protect the environment. For example, the Second Agricultural National Policy has clear objectives that support Sustainable Agriculture including promoting sustainable land management technologies, such as conservation agriculture and appropriate stock densities. In response, several agricultural practices, which are consistent with the SAI concept are being promoted widely in the country, including conservation agriculture (CA), agroforestry (AF), and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM).
The Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa programme (SAIRLA) has facilitated learning around the experiences of farmers and other stakeholders participating in the implementation of agriculture projects promoting these practices. The aim of this discussion paper is to inform and stimulate debate around enabling SAI in Zambia.