World Food Programme (WFP) expands resilience activities to support smallholder farmers in Zambia

With US$500,000 from Citi Foundation, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is ramping up a ground-breaking initiative that seeks to strengthen resilience to climate crises and boost financial inclusion for 17,200 smallholder farmers in Zambia over the next two years.

The grant from Citi Foundation is part of its Global Innovation Challenge awarded to World Food Program USA in support of WFP’s resilience activities in Zambia. WFP USA is one of 50 recipients of the Citi Foundation’s inaugural Global Innovation Challenge, which is supporting organizations that address food security and strengthen the physical and financial health of low-income families and communities.

Farmers will receive training on financial literacy skills, agricultural practices, access to affordable credit and risk insurance, and forecasting services. WFP will also scale up the use of the Maano – Virtual Farmers Market application. On this app-based e-commerce platform, farmers’ surplus and buyers’ demand for crops are advertised and marketed.

“This program is a game-changer. We are thrilled to partner with the Citi Foundation to facilitate services that promote climate risk insurance, helping farmers to enhance productivity by limiting the risk of crop loss and boosting access to credit,” said Cissy Byenkya, WFP’s Country Director in Zambia. “Through this program, we hope to empower farmers with the necessary tools and resources to overcome climate-related challenges and increase their income and food security.”

The initiative also seeks to address gender disparities that exist in accessing resources and opportunities. With a strong focus on women farmers, the program will work towards empowering them and ensuring their active participation in decision-making processes.

“The Citi Foundation is proud to support WFP in their mission to uplift smallholder farmers in Zambia,” said Lowani Chibesakunda, CEO of Citi in Zambia. “By combining digital innovation, financial literacy, and capacity-building components, this program has the potential to impact the lives of farmers significantly and contribute to sustainable food systems.”

The program, jointly implemented by WFP and the Government of Zambia, was launched in early October 2023, with a focus on to increasing access to affordable capital and managing climate-related risks for smallholder farmers in Zambia.

The collaboration between WFP and the Citi Foundation demonstrates the benefits of humanitarian organisations and the private sector working together to address food security challenges and promote sustainable development.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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