Food Case Lab: The Case of Zambia - Hivos
The Zambian Food Change Lab is an inclusive multi-stakeholder process in which women and men in the Zambian food system – including farmers and farmers’ organisations, policy-makers, youth, the private sector, civil society and the media – jointly analyse problems, build coalitions of stakeholders, generate ideas for change, and test these innovations on the ground. Informed by and based on local knowledge and needs, the main orientation of the Zambian Food Change Lab is to define and co-create strategies for the diversification of agriculture, moving away from maize monocropping.
Maize is the predominant crop in Zambia, both in terms of production and consumption, and levels of crop diversity on Zambian farms tend to be very low. The country’s maize-centric food system contributes to poverty, malnutrition, and vulnerability to drought, pests and diseases. Growing a wider variety of nutritious crops is needed in order to improve rural livelihoods, diversify diets, maintain soil fertility and to make farmers more resilient to climate change. The question is how to get farmers and all the other relevant actors on board.