MORE than 1, 000 people in Mpika district’s Chiponya village who were trained by World Vision in irrigated onion cultivation have seen their livelihoods improve with better earnings from their labour.
The people, mainly women, were trained under the Transforming Households Resilience in Vulnerable Environments (THRIVE) project being implemented in six districts in Eastern, Northern and Muchinga provinces.
World Vision Zambia agriculture and natural resources specialist Teddy Changwe said the programme was aimed at increasing livelihood opportunities through training people to embrace sustainable farming methods and enhancing financial literacy that promoted the formation of savings groups.
The project is located in Chief Chikwanda’s chiefdom, near the Lwitikila River where the THRIVE project had restored dams and dug furrows to allow smallholder farmers produce all year round.
“We have 1, 028 farmers growing onions, organically but planted alongside vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, beans, rape and bananas. On average, 1, 500 grams of seeds is planted per lima to produce between 140 to 150, 50 kilogramme bags, if the field is managed properly and the price range per bag is between K300 and K550,” farmer representative Bruno Bwalya said.
Robina Mufinde, who had been growing onions for three years now, after undergoing THRIVE training, urged other women to venture into farming and to avoid pressuring husbands to fend for the family.
“This way we shall be food secure and have enough money to do other things to support our wellbeing. In 2020, I planted 800 grams of seeds and harvested 57×50 kg bags and money earned was used to connect power from Zesco grid, bought a freezer and managed to send a child to College,” Ms Mufinde said.
Chiponya village head Ben Musonkela praised! His people for showing resilience by increasing agriculture production.