CABI has opened a new Southern Africa office in Lusaka, Zambia, putting staff on the ground to strengthen its work in international development. The CABI-led Plantwise programme has been active in Zambia since 2013. Working closely with national agricultural advisory services, CABI and national partners establish and support sustainable networks of plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers receive practical plant health advice to help them lose less and grow more. To date, Plantwise has helped establish 42 plant clinics and trained 77 plant doctors in Zambia, reaching thousands of the country’s farmers.
Smallholders are seeing the benefits. Kenny Mwansa, a farmer from the Rufunsa district, explains how Plantwise has helped him grow healthy crops and increase his income: “A few years ago, I would make five to six thousand [Zambian Kwacha] per year. Last year, I got about fifteen thousand. I have never missed any plant clinic session. I have been very committed, very faithful, because I have seen the benefits.”
Located in Kalundu, Lusaka, near to the University of Zambia and international institutions and organisations, the new office is now ready for business. Dr Noah Phiri has been appointed Regional Representative, overseeing a new team of staff, who will focus on CABI’s key areas of international development. As well as Plantwise, this includes trade and market access, knowledge management, invasive species management, biodiversity and ecosystem management, and nutrition sensitive and climate smart agriculture. Supporting smallholder farmers in sustainable crop production and protection, including processing and storage, will be central to the efforts.
Plans to create the sub-regional centre followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zambian government in October 2015. CABI has a regional office in Kenya and a sub-regional office in Ghana, covering West Africa.
Mr Morris Akiri, Regional Director for CABI in Africa, said: “We’re delighted to announce the opening of our new office in Zambia. It brings CABI the ability to better position ourselves and support our partners. It helps us improve the livelihoods of our smallholder communities through the Plantwise programme and international development projects.
For more information about our work and partners in Zambia, watch the video below: