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Friday, 7 August 2009

Boosting rural finance (Update)

We last discussed this IFAD initiative (or "NABARD style" ) in 2007. It appears that two years later that initiative has only just began rolling it out.


  1. Very good sign! This is definitely good work by the MoFNP, DBZ, and IFAD. Hopefully between ongoing FSP reforms and increased credit facilities, agriculture will continue to develop past the food security threshold.

  2. Not exactly about rural finance, but the closest rural farming thread I could find. The use of natural farming techniques is amazing, and solves a lot of issues about expensive inputs, soil depletion, erosion and runoff issues such as water pollution.

    Natural Farming was framed by the Japanese biologist/farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, who used straw to return nutrients to the fields, suppress weeds, cool the soil, and minimize the amount of nutrients taken out. He added chicken manure to decompose the straw, while at the same time returning the nutrients taken out from the crop. As such, he did not use or need any kind of fertilizer or compost for his crops. Natural farming is already being taken up in Zambia, so check out the following articles:

    Empowering Women Farmers in Rural Zambia through Natural Agriculture
    By Shumei International and Mbabala Women Farmers’ Cooperative Union

    Conservation tillage in Zambia: Some technologies, indigenous methods and environmental issues
    by Joyce M. Siacinji-Musiwa
    NRDC Zambia

  3. Great Links MrK!

    The ongoing Shumei project in particular seems to have real scalability and makes good use of social networks already in place in rural communities to spread knowledge. It is especially encouraging that they are using native seed stocks and emphasizing crops that belong in the Zambian climate. I agree with them that this will likely reduce disease and improve reactions to weather fluctuations in general.

    The conservation farming recommendations, while a decade old, are still current in most respects (e.g. cover crops may accelerate soil regeneration simultaneous with dry season ripping along furrows). The most important bit is at the start, where it explains that traditional tillage methods that require waiting for rain wind up costing farmers a lot of lost productivity. If the climatologists are right and rains will become even less predictable in the future, then this problem will become even more pronounced.

  4. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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