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News Story
7 May 2024

Zambia’s journey towards a national strategy for inclusive, sustainable and resilient food systems

Woman works in her cassava field in Mkuranga district, Tanzania. Photo: Holly Holmes/RTB

National Agroecology Strategies (NAS) are being adopted in Eastern and Southern Africa to promote agroecological transitions nationally. The NAS processes and strategic documents have been characterised by solid participation, initiated by civil society organisations through bottom-up processes and drafted through dialogue with relevant food system actors.

In Zambia, the impacts of climate change have spurred collaboration between agroecology supporters and the national climate movement. Together, they advocate for government action against climate change and its repercussions by crafting a NAS tailored to Zambia’s needs.

NAS are comprehensive frameworks that enhance a country’s food system policies. NAS policies cover agriculture, natural resource management, education, research, markets, procurement, consumption, and food safety, providing specific policy interventions that accelerate food system transformation.  NAS represent a shift from traditional, input-intensive farming approaches towards a balanced relationship between humans and the environment. These strategies are comprehensive frameworks that enhance  food policy interventions and accelerate the transformation of food systems via agroecology.

Framework of strategic objectives for agroecological transformation emerged from the experiences in the Eastern and Southern Africa regions. It comprises 4 key objectives covering the food value chain and 4 key objectives that are cross-cutting. FAO

The NAS isn’t just about increasing yields; it’s about creating a more inclusive and sustainable food system from farm to plate. Through research, extension services, value addition, and consumer needs, the strategy aims to boost coordination among stakeholders, optimise natural resource usage, and support Zambia in accomplishing various goals, such as the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), SDG targets, as well as vision 2030 objectives, among other commitments.

Drawing on experiences from Eastern and Southern Africa regions, Zambia’s NAS development process incorporates strategic objectives covering the food value chain and 4 cross-cutting objectives. This framework benefits Zambia and offers valuable insights for other countries interested in similar strategies.

With nationwide consultations underway, the NAS is set to reflect the diverse perspectives of key food system actors. By engaging stakeholders at regional and national levels, Zambia aims to finalise its strategy in the last quarter of 2024, paving the way for a more resilient and sustainable food future.