For Immediate Release
Thursday 6th November, 2014
LAUNCH OF THE LIMA CHUMA PROJECT BY BASF IN CHOMA DISTRICT, SOUTHERN PROVINCE – THURSDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 2014
BASF has launched the Lima Chuma project in partnership with Omnia Fertilisers, and Pioneer Dupont to promote an integrated approach to accelerating smallholder agriculture.
Lima Chuma, which means ‘Cultivating Prosperity’, is a consortium supported by Musika and Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) aimed at achieving a holistic approach to farmer education, improved access to products and services, and productivity enhancing technologies to enhance smallholder productivity.
The private sector-driven holistic service, under Lima Chuma, will improve efficiency in terms of technical information dissemination to smallholders on a range of agricultural products supplied by the consortium partners. In addition, the project will enable farmers’ access to general agriculture production information in a manner that reduces the transaction costs to farmers, and improves the quality of extension services in rural communities through trainings, demonstrations, advisory services, field promotions and on-farm research. Over time, these activities are expected to improve agricultural production and productivity per unit area from the current national average of 2 tonnes/ha of the maize crop to 8 tonnes/ha which is within smallholder management capabilities.
The Lima Chuma project is being implemented in Namwala, Monze, Mazabuka, Choma, Zimba and Kalomo districts of Southern Province to promote best agriculture practices; conservation farming, fertiliser application, and crop management etc., and basic financial knowledge, crop marketing and post-harvest management practices, input accessibility, safe use of agrochemicals and safe disposal of agrochemical containers
The consortium, led by BASF, recently employed ten supervisory field officers and 50 extension officers or ‘Lima Chuma Advisors’ equipped with motorbikes and bicycles, respectively, who will be responsible for creation of commercial linkages, provide extension messages, on-farm research and visits, tailored advisory services, trainings including financial literacy, safe use of agro chemicals, and agronomy practices coupled with consistent monitoring.
The Advisors, who recently graduated from the Zambia College of Agriculture (ZCA) in Monze and were trained by the consortium partners, are targeting at servicing about 7,500 farmers (5 -10 ha per farmer) by March 2015, in communities that meet strict criteria in terms of commercial acumen and potential to invest in their own production.
As part of its commitment to the safe use and disposal of empty agrochemical containers, the Lima Chuma project has provided for 50 collection points for empty containers within the communities where the project was being implemented. The collection points would initially be managed by BASF field staff and eventually handed over to the community.
The Lima Chuma project was a build-up to an initial intervention piloted by BASF in 2013 and supported by Musika to intensify the promotion of its herbicide in Kalomo and Namwala districts using students at the ZCA. The business model was meant to demonstrate a comprehensive private sector led extension service that would assist in the efficient delivery of product and general agricultural information, and improve access to productivity enhancing technologies.
Notes for Editors
BASF is an international company with subsidiaries and joint ventures in over 80 countries manufacturing and trading in agrochemicals. BASF has customers in over 200 countries supported with product knowledge and back up support.
In Zambia, BASF is trading through selected distributors in the provinces and districts but in the rural areas where new markets are establishing, customer product knowledge remains a challenge.
About Lima Chuma
Lima Chuma is a project initiated by BASF in partnership with Musika, Omnia Fertilisers, Pioneer Dupont and Conservation Farming Unit (CFU). Lima Chuma means ‘Cultivating Prosperity’ and represents a holistic business approach that is aimed at assisting smallholders become more efficient and productive. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the prosperity and growth of the smallholders in Zambia and create employment for graduates from agricultural colleges. It provides smallholder farmers with good agro business; good agricultural practice and crop marketing knowledge. Lima Chuma targets smallholder farmers who grow maize for both household consumption and for sell to both public and private buyers on the open market.
The three pillars of Lima Chuma are basic financial knowledge, good agricultural practices and effective crop marketing. As a pilot, the project has already employed fifty (50) Lima Chuma Advisors who are former students from Zambia College of Agriculture (ZCA) to train smallholder farmers in Southern Province.
Musika is an independent Zambian non-profit company supported by the Embassy of Sweden and the UK Government in Zambia to stimulate and support private sector investment in the smallholder and rural markets.
Musika’s operations are national in scope and stretch across the agricultural industry, working primarily with those corporate entities in the sector that are committed to engaging the rural poor as their clients, suppliers and consumers. Musika’s clients are those agribusinesses that demonstrate both the willingness and the ability to develop strong and constructive commercial relationships with the lower end of the agricultural market.
Through the provision of high quality, commercially focused technical support and a range of smart, catalytic investments aimed at reducing the initial risks involved in exploring, testing and developing new markets, Musika stimulates and deepens commercial engagement with the rural poor and seeks to fundamentally change the way agricultural markets work with and benefit the smallholder sector.
Pamela Hamasaka – Communications & Outreach Manager
+260 211 251371 / 0977475323