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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Sustainable Development of Horticultural Crops in Zambia by Introducing Postharvest Technologies and Practices for Food Security, Income Generation and in Support of the Tourism Industry

Target Country: Zambia

Principal Investigator: James E. Simon, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Co-PIs:

Collaborators:

Project Description

The goal of this project is to build on gains made in the Livingstone, Zambia, horticulture program and the related Immediate Impact Project, and further extend economic opportunities to small-scale farmers in Zambia.

This project seeks to strengthen the value chain for fresh market vegetables with a focus on postharvest handling. Building upon our successful introduction of locally produced commercial vegetables into southern Zambia's Livingstone region, this proposal will expand local production of fresh vegetables for the tourism and supermarket industries and reduce postharvest losses by 40 percent. As local production displaced more expensive imported vegetables, significant economic opportunities for small-scale farmers were achieved.

This proposal will strengthen the value chain and scale up production to supply markets in the Livingstone area. As the major constraint to scaling up is the lack of cold-chain systems, this project focuses on introducing a strong postharvest and cold-chain program to reduce postharvest losses and increase profitability along the value chain, ensuring food security and promoting rural livelihoods and diversified income streams.

Using an innovative, market-first, science-driven approach with a focus on applied postharvest technologies, farmers will be trained in good agricultural management practices, postharvest and storage systems, and entrepreneurship; they will also be linked to sustainable markets. Innovative technologies including low-cost coolers, quality control in postharvest technology and appropriate cold storage systems at the farm. Our private sector partners include Sun International Hotels, David Livingstone Hotel, Freshmark/Shoprite and SPAR supermarkets. Many secondary micro-enterprises to support the farmers will be created.