USAID pumps US$4.8 million in horticulture

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested US$ 4.8 million in the Commercial Agri-business for Sustainable Horticulture (CASH) project so as to increase the capacity of small holder horticulture producers in rural areas.

The project, which will run for a period of four years, is aimed at enhancing the technical and operational capacities of about 5, 000 small holder horticulture farmers in rural areas.

This is in order to make them effectively respond to dynamic market requirements.

Agri-business in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP) Country Director Petrus Langenhoven disclosed this development in Lusaka today on the sidelines of the post harvest network meeting.

Dr. Langenhoven said the Cash project will help increase market shares and profit margins of farmers by developing new and strengthening existing market opportunities.

He explained that the project will foster strategic alliances and partnerships in improving the in-country delivery capacity of products.

He told journalists that the project will also market superior quality horticultural products thereby addressing the challenges of food insecurity and rural unemployment.

Dr. Langenhoven said farmers that will benefit from the project will be guided and trained to become commercial horticulture producers to guarantee year round income generation and efficient management of their agri-businesses.

He has since called on the private sector to join in contributing to the sustainability of the project.

Dr. Langenhoven further disclosed that the project has managed to raise US$13 million from Zambian firms taking part in the project.