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Final Evaluation of the Conservation Agriculture Scaling-Up (CASU) Project Funded by the European Union

06/08/2018

Despite widespread promotion of conservation agriculture in Zambia as a means to increase productivity and conserve soil fertility in farming systems, there has been limited adoption by farmers of such techniques. In an effort to address this, the Conservation Agriculture Scaling-Up (CASU) Project, funded by the European Union, had the objective of sustainably increasing crop productivity and diversity through widespread promotion of the three principles of conservation agriculture across the entire country, targeting over 300 000 smallholder farmers. The evaluation found that conservation agriculture led to an increase in yields, but farmers struggled to find suitable markets, particularly for legumes. The evaluation recommends that future projects consider the entirety of the value chain, with more flexibility for locally-adapted climate-smart agriculture and sustainable intensification techniques. Further, the evaluation recommends that future projects increase the quota targets for female beneficiaries, while simultaneously including targeted activities for female beneficiaries. The handover to the Government of the Republic of Zambia of the Zambia Integrated Agricultural Management Information System (ZIAMIS) and e-voucher system, derived from the CASU model, was an unplanned but very positive outcome.