Smallholder farmers in Zambia are able to access high-quality disease-free horticultural seedlings through a project by Syngenta Zambia, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation programme.
“For Syngenta, smallholder farmers are key to solving the growing gap between the supply and demand for affordable food. The project has been running since 2017 and currently a sustainable seedling distribution model for hybrid vegetables has been built. This model ensures that there is access to market information and linkages; training for farmers in good agricultural practices and business management; and introduction of new technologies to smallholder farmers.
Through this program, Syngenta's ambition is to establish 20 seedling sites in 20 districts across Zambia, each owned and operated by an Entrepreneurial Young Plant Raiser (YPR).
The YPR will provide business and technical training; and facilitate market linkages for 12,000 smallholder farmers.
The project focusses on tomato and cabbage seedlings but Syngenta also plans to conduct trials and testing on the commercial viability of kale (rape), cauliflower, broccoli and carrot - crops with a high potential in Zambia.
Syngenta will also help promote a pilot programme for YPR’s “Vegetable in a Bag” concept where a small portion of YPR seedlings will be sold in reusable packaging, with no ground soil and minimal water, making them suitable for urban and peri-urban use.