A double reason to celebrate: On International Earth Day 2022, Amatheon Agri Zambia Ltd. gathered with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) senior leadership, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Kashikoto Conservancy Ltd., Alliance partners, government officials and local leaders to officially launch the Eastern Kafue Nature Alliance, which operates under USAID’s Health Ecosystems and Agriculture for Resilient Thriving Societies (HEARTH) Global Development Alliance (GDA). The Eastern Kafue Nature Alliance brings together public, private and civil society actors, along with local communities, to address threats to the rich biodiversity in and around the Greater Kafue Ecosystem (GKE) of Zambia.
5-year flagship project with USAID and TNC
A Cooperative Agreement signed by USAID and TNC initiates implementation of a five-year programme of US$21.3m ($10m funded by USAID and $11.3m in leverage from the private sector), in which Amatheon Agri Zambia (AAZ) plays the key role for sustainable agricultural production within the communities.
The Minister of Tourism, Honourable Rhodine Sikumba, officially launched the Eastern Kafue Nature Alliance. In his speech to the audience he highlighted the importance of bringing together like-minded people to conserve the rich landscape of the GKE and improve the well-being and prosperity of its communities. “Sustainable development requires cross-sectoral commitments from local and global stakeholders,” said Honourable Mr. Sikumba.
Uplifting communities in Mumbwa District
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the festivity by Amatheon Agri Zambia’s Managing Director, Troy Minne, the company commits to further develop inclusive agriculture and ecosystem-based markets to address economic constraints communities face in Mumbwa District. Amatheon Agri Zambia will support crop diversification into high-value, climate-smart crops through the provision of market services, including input finance, extension and demonstration of sustainable farming practices. With its established state-of-the-art processing, cleaning and storage facilities, AAZ connects smallholder farmers to high-level value chains.
Second AAZ-USAID partnership for community development
For AAZ, the launch marked a special moment in the company’s history with USAID, which played a crucial role in the development of Amatheon Agri’s Outgrower Programme in 2016. During the first USAID partnership, AAZ established a trading network with more than 10,000 farmers in Mumbwa District and embedded the Outgrower Programme as a core part of the company’s operations in Zambia.
“We are excited to partner again in such a complex and fundamentally important project, which will uplift our Outgrower Programme and the communities surrounding Amatheon’s farm,” said Sustainability Manager Laura Schenck.
The HEARTH project activities will be implemented over a course of five years until September 2026.