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Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Zambia (SIFAZ)

Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Zambia (SIFAZ) is driven by the need to address systemic productivity and sustainability challenges in Zambian smallholder farming systems. This project is implemented in a research-for-development approach where applied research is conducted alongside scaling-up of sustainable and climate-smart crop production and land management practices within selected pilot areas in the three agro-ecological zones (AEZ) of Zambia.

SIFAZ strives to test, promote and enhance the uptake of sustainable intensification practices (SIPs) including mechanization among smallholder farmers while fostering market linkages and creating an enabling environment for sustainable agriculture growth. Such efforts will contribute to the government’s development priorities, which are framed by the Vision 2030 (Republic of Zambia, 2006) of “a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030” including an efficient, competitive, sustainable and export-led agriculture sector that assures food security and increased income.

The SIFAZ project cycles I and II are being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with CIMMYT and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in Zambia, with funding from the European Union (EU) for a period of seven years (2019-2026). Under the SIFAZ project, CIMMYT is leading the implementation of adaptive research and is currently working on establishing on-station and on-farm and field testing in and around three research centers in the southern, eastern and northern provinces of Zambia; the research approach includes co-development of on-farm trials using mother and baby trials; mechanization and socio-economics research.

To achieve this, SIFAZ supports three closely interlinked outputs:

  • Sustainable intensification practices (SIPs) co-developed with farmers and made available for scaling up.
  • Farmers trained, mentored and capacitated to use SIPs, better manage farmer enterprises and engage value chain actors.
  • Enabling institutional and policy environment for scaling and adoption of SIPs by smallholder farmers established.