Lwande Mixed Farm Project
National Heritage Conservation Commission Victoria Falls World Heritage Site
The Mukuni Curio Traders Association is a group of curio traders, mostly from Mukuni village in Kazungula near the Victoria Falls who earn a living from selling their handicrafts to tourists who visit Victoria Falls. The goal of the Lwande Mixed Farm Project was to create better food security of this group by assisting them to supplement their income though growing and marketing agricultural produce.
The Centre for Heritage Development in Africa (CHDA), a Kenyan- based NGO dedicated to the preservation, management and promotion of cultural heritage in Africa and AgriSmart Zambia worked together to establish this program. The initiative was based on an innovative, market focused and scientific approach and the farmers were trained in good agricultural practices, postharvest and storage systems and in the process the developers made use of economically viable technologies including eco-friendly farming techniques, the use of high quality germ plasma and quality control in postharvest technology. The farmers were trained in entrepreneurship and business development skills (including managerial skills such as record keeping and negotiating) and were then also linked to sustainable markets.
AgriSmart Zambia, in co-operation with Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA) held training sessions with the community on business, entrepreneurship and marketing skills. Prof Jim Simon and Prof Ramu Govendasamy (both from Rutgers University), both well-known internationally for their work with developing communities relating to training for small scale farmers, assisted with training on all aspects for sustainable agribusiness.
The project was initiated with the pilot project during the first six months and during this time 4 hectares of land was developed for crop production. This included soil preparation, installation of permanent irrigation, planting, growing and harvesting chilli and other horticultural crops.