Since 2011, the AAS Program has been working in five countries across Africa, Asia, and the Pacific to raise agricultural and fish production, and expand the markets for produce in the regions.
Zambia’s Barotse Floodplain was selected early in the planning stage of the Program as one of three areas to focus on, along with Cambodia and the Solomon Islands.
“WorldFish has managed to bring us on board from stage to stage. Our partnership is overwhelming, because we have come to realize that we agree in almost all our key areas of operation, these being the livelihood of people in the Barotse, and our common goal of realizing the potential of the Barotse Floodplain,” said Fines Nasilele, Program Coordinator, People’s Participation Service.
WorldFish, which leads the AAS Program, is fostering productive partnerships with research, government, and community sectors.
WorldFish is garnering technical know-how from international and national research institutions such as CGIAR’s IWMI and the University of Zambia, which bring expertise on farm water management that improves productivity and increases understanding of flooding regimes in the region.
National and international development NGOs that focus on development issues are valuable to the Program. Concern Worldwide, for example, contributes knowledge and experience of community-based canal management and gender mainstreaming. Similarly, Catholic Relief Services brings development expertise on community-based micro-financing, which helps small-scale producers predict the profitability of their business before they start production and marketing.
Valuable policy support in the elaboration and development of agricultural and natural resource value chains is provided by local and central government agencies. These partnerships are helping to blend traditional knowledge with modern agricultural innovations to sustainably improve productivity for the people of the Barotse Floodplain.
Local communities and organizations are partners in the Program and have contributed valuable input from the outset. In the early stages, Barotse community groups came together to map out their goals and plans for the region. This resulted in an Action Plan, which included goals such as value chain development, crop diversity, and canal management.