Ethiopian farmer and cattle.

Zambia – Production, Finance and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+)

Value Chain Approach Will Support Agriculture-led Growth by Smallholder Farmers

In June, 2012, ACDI/VOCA’s Support for Food Security Activities team launched a $24 million United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Zambia to increase food security and decrease poverty. The program targets smallholder farmers and agro-enterprises to increase agricultural productivity and facilitate inclusive access to markets and private sector investment in target value chains. The project focuses on three objectives:

  1. improved smallholder productivity;
  2. greater access to markets and trade; and,
  3. increased private sector investment in agriculture-related activities.

The Production, Finance and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+) program is a core activity of President Obama's Feed the Future (FTF) global hunger and food security initiative in Zambia. PROFIT+ is fostering economic growth, significantly contributing to Millennium Development Goal one: halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015.

30 Percent Increase in Productivity and Income

Despite Zambia’s recent economic growth, poverty and malnutrition remain rampant, particularly in rural areas. Access to finance, especially for smallholders, is limited, greatly inhibiting growth. PROFIT+ is building on previous USAID-supported activities by closely linking efforts to enhance input supply with output markets and ensuring that women and vulnerable groups fully benefit from value chain development.

Applying both “push” and “pull” interventions to create pathways out of poverty for smallholders, PROFIT+ will ensure that vulnerable households and women benefit equitably from increased productivity and investment. On the push side, the project assists smallholder and vulnerable (i.e., female-headed or HIV/AIDS-affected) households through training to farmers, associations and small-scale processors that will enable them to increase their productivity through the application of new technologies. On the pull side, the project is partnering with private, locally-based companies to improve smallholder producers’ access to larger markets and to create 1,000 new jobs in value-added processing.

PROFIT+’s geographic focus is in Eastern province where the typical smallholder farms less than 3 hectares. The project is also working in Peri-Urban Lusaka within its target horticulture value chains. PROFIT+ expects to achieve a 30 percent increase in productivity and income from selected value chains, benefit 200,000 smallholder farmers and increase the value of agricultural sales by $125 million, in particular for value-added processing.

Zambia Program Calls for Localization

To achieve its objectives, PROFIT+ will leverage an estimated $50 million in new private sector investment in maize, soybean, groundnut, sunflower, onion and tomato value chains and dedicate $7.1 million for the Innovation, Investment and Partnership (IIP) Fund for local and private sector partners to build their capacity to deliver services well beyond the life of the program.

In 2014 the project will scale up a range of training activities through local partners, which include a rollout of ACDI/VOCA’s Sell More for More™ approach, and will continue to facilitate burgeoning partnerships with private companies and NGOs. These partnerships will be critical to the project achieving broad growth in the targeted value chains and to scaling up farmers’ adoption of new technologies and out-grower models that improve aggregation and marketing.

Implementation Consortium

Drawing on its nearly 50 years of agricultural experience in Africa, ACDI/VOCA is the prime contractor for PROFIT+, leading program management, value chain analysis, and interventions related to marketing, trade and financial services.

  • IFDC brings its experience in commercial agro-input systems to the implementation of Component 1, increased production and productivity
  • CRS is providing training in Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC)
  • Danya is leading the strategic communications implementation for PROFIT+’s use of communications to increase behavior change and facilitate learning
  • Kimetrica’s ki-projects™ anchors the M&E system
  • Crown Agents is providing technical assistance in warehouse management, transportation, trade, and marketing.

ACDI/VOCA, a pioneer in the value chain approach, has substantial experience facilitating change in market systems worldwide through demand-driven, participatory and systematic approaches.

Updated: 12/13