Zambia is participating in the implementation of the six years (2014-2019) World Bank supported Agricultural Productivity Promotion Programme for Southern Africa (APPSA) project, a regional project also involving Malawi and Mozambique. Whilst Zambia is establishing the Regional Centre of Leadership (RCoL) in food legumes, Malawi and Mozambique are establishing RCoL in maize and rice respectively. The Programme Development Objective (PDO) of APPSA is to increase the availability of improved agricultural technologies in participating countries in the SADC region. Pursuant of this objective, APPSA is (i) establishing Regional Centers of Leadership (RCoLs) on commodities of regional importance, thereby allowing regional specialization around priority farming systems and more strategic investment in agricultural research capacity; (ii) supporting regional collaboration in agricultural research, technology dissemination, and training; and (iii) facilitating increased sharing of agricultural information, knowledge, and technology among participating countries.
APPSA has three components, namely: (1) Technology Generation and Dissemination; (2) Strengthening Regional Centers of Leadership; and (3) Coordination and Facilitation. Component 1 supports technology generation and dissemination activities associated with the commodity or commodity group being targeted by RCoLs. Component 2 aims to strengthen the core capacity of the RCoLs research agenda through upgrading of research infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, equipping of laboratories, information and communication technology, securing of research fields and development of human capital.
Through APPSA, a total of 22 crop varieties have been developed and released in Zambia. In the area of strengthening research capacity enhancement, the project has enabled upgrading and installation of irrigation facilities at Mount Makulu and Kabwe Research Stations. In addition, laboratories at 7 research stations within Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) have been rehabilitated and equipped with laboratory equipment. The primary beneficiaries of APPSA are farmers, livestock producers and other potential end users of the improved technology and knowledge generated and/or disseminated by the Project. To date, a total of 91 agricultural technologies have been made available to farmers and consequently 1,033,118 farmers have been reached.