January - March 2019 - Busa Farming Demonstration Site
The Director of ZRDF – Brandy Mungaila has given us an update on the Busa Demo site which is a 4 Hectare area in the East of the region under the care of ZRDF.
2 hectares of this land is now in use with around 400 farmers benefitting from this on-site training school – an initiative managed by ZRDF/BZT and supported by around 15 Stakeholders which include seed companies, agro chemical companies and Government departments under the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Demo site is one of the objectives highlighted in the 2017-19 programme which will result in improved crop yields for households and a better standard of nutrition. The charity is responsible for 505 farmers throughout the region now growing soya beans, 135 of which were recruited in 2017.
80 Farmers are also now breeding goats and new crop types are being introduced such as sunflowers and cow peas. The demo site is an essential way of continuing growth in the farming sector through education and support, giving farmers every possible chance to support their families with successful yields.
The 2019 demo site includes; Maize (25 varieties planted), soya beans (4 varieties), okra, beans, cowpeas, butter nuts, orange maize, water melons, sorghum, ground nuts and sunflower.
However the Busa site is not without challenges – an outbreak of armyworms are causing extensive damage to the crop, though these issues too form part of the training for the farmers who learn about control of such pests.
Other successful types of production in the region are banana plantations and bee boxes – all part of the hollistic way in which ZRDF funded largely by Baynards Zambia Trust in the UK make a difference to peoples lives in rural Zambia. Along with child education, health clinics and the implementation of basic village banks run by local Women, BZT not only gives the people the opportunities to live a healthier and more fruitful life right now but for generations to come.