THE Zambia Agribusiness and Trade Project (ZATP), which is being implemented at a cost of US$40 million, is currently supporting 69,900 direct beneficiaries, 133 producer organisations and 232 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southern, Lusaka, Central, Eastern and Copperbelt provinces.
ZATP is a government project being implemented through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI) with support from the World Bank, whose major objective is to boost food production increase.
According to the World Bank’s implementation status and results report dated June 30, 2022, the project was approved in December 2016 and became effective on July 19, 2017 and is now restructured, with the closing date on May 30, 2024.
The project is aimed at contributing to increased market linkages and firm growth in agribusiness.
The project has raised US$6 million worth of private capital thus far, while the cumulative disbursement under the project currently stands at 70 percent.
Given the above strong performance, the project has been rated “satisfactory” both in terms of the progress towards the Project Development Objective (PDO) and the implementation progress.
Speaking in an interview recently, ZATP project safeguard specialist Obert Musongo said producer organisations like cooperatives are being equipped with bankable business skills to upscale their production.
“We are supporting existing businesses by offering capacity building so that the farmers and SMEs can have market linkages which will encourage them to produce more food,” Mr Musongo said at the 94th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show.