Mumbwa Pilot 

Countrywide Cooperative partnering with National Association of Savings and Credit Unions (NASCU), Good Nature Agro (GNA) and various cooperatives have initiated a grogram to support cooperative farmers involved in legume crops such as beans, groundnuts and soya beans. The project is promoting community farming and is in the forefront of promoting empowerment for the women and youth.

The demand for these crops is proving to provide an ever-increasing net profit for farmers, in some instances by more than three times that of maize yield per hectare. The partnership with the seed company will see 2,000 farmers in Mumbwa district, who are members of Cooperatives, engage in the farming of beans. They will acquire input support to a tune of 3 hectares per farmer for the 2021/2022 farming season as phase one. This will extend to target 100,000 Cooperative farmers in 2022/2023 farming season, which will also include groundnuts and soya beans.

In Mumbwa the pilot registered approximately 3,000 farmers with farms ranging from 1-20 hectares of land. In the pilot phase we are restricting the number to approximately 2,000 farmers planting on average 1-3 hectares each, this is subject to individual assessments. 

The project aims to;

  • Guarantee community employment and participation
  • Work through the cooperative structure – regulated by Registrar of Cooperatives
  • Guarantee the earnings of the farmers – Off taker agreement
  • Increase tax base (T-pin registration for farmers)
  • Biometric details of account holders (direct input to beneficiary)
  • Have immediate impact – Social development
  • Project sustainability – self empowering generation

Business Linkages 

This is an off-taker program so all the yield will be bought by the project, thereby reducing stress for every farmer. The program’s target is to be extended to reach a million cooperative farmers at the end of 5 years, where it will financially include 3 million Zambians and create more jobs in a sector that is self-sustaining under this empowering model.

For an individual smallholder farmer, sourcing for markets of their products can be a labourious and costly activity. Even after the efforts, one is never guaranteed that they got the best possible deal.

Such challenges are likely to lead smallholder farmers to turn away from farming activities and look for other less tasking economic activities or even farm for their own consumption.

Countrywide Cooperative seeks to work with NASCU to organize farmers into cooperatives to bridge the gap between farmers and potential markets to allow them guaranteed access. Under the intervention, farmers will sign contracts with Countywide in order to guarantee market for their produce at a pre-negotiated price.

This is a marked difference from the traditional approaches where farmers depended on middle men who rarely care about the production process and were always looking for a cheaper bargain.

“Farmers can now concentrate on producing without worrying about the market as this is now guaranteed. We aim to improve yields and wellbeing of the members. At the cooperative level, farmers will also access finance from Countrywide as they are assured that they can pay back loans.

In its implementation, the initiative is enabling achieve key and strategic government objectives such as poverty reduction, access to finance and use of better quality inputs for the agriculture sector



NASCU has also signed an agreement with Mastercard Inc and Union Pay International, for the deployment of banking services in support of financial inclusion initiatives aimed at the cooperatives and the unbanked in Zambia. On top of farming, the farmers will issue platforms to safely save money and spend wisely under their cooperative model.

The process of extension workesr training has began and input distribution shall begin week beginning 22nd November 2021.



Working with your office our project aims to;

  • Guarantee community employment and participation
  • Work through the cooperative structure – regulated by Registrar of Cooperatives
  • Guarantee the earnings of the farmers – Off taker agreement
  • Increase tax base (T-pin registration for farmers)
  • Biometric details of account holders (direct input to beneficiary)
  • Have immediate impact – Social development
  • Project sustainability – self empowering generation

Sustainable, Green Farming

The region has been affected by consecutive climate shocks that have affected the livelihoods of millions of Zambians, including smallholder farmers who contribute 90 percent of the food consumed in the country. In the 2018/19 agricultural season, 2.3 million people were affected by drought, who are now trying to rebuild their livelihoods amidst the COVID-19 crisis. As the crisis continues to spread into a country already dealing with the impacts of climate change, according to (WFP) world food program.

Key focus areas in ensuring sustainable food systems;

  • Improving agricultural productivity,
  • Increasing incomes through access to inputs,
  • Providing finance,
  • Providing key market information and viable markets,

Countrywide working with various local and international partners are looking at ways to increase agricultural productivity by focusing on methods that will help farming boost production. Key areas are: input packs (comprised of drought tolerant seeds and equipment).

Conservation agriculture and drought tolerant seed – comprising of the use of drought tolerant seeds and inputs. Educating on nutrient- dense seeds such as mixed beans, groundnuts and cowpeas

Post-harvest management – this includes transportation and storage management, to address losses incurred by farmers, we intend to assist farmers store their crops long enough to take advantage of favourable market prices and preserve the quality and quantity of their food

Access to Agricultural Inputs

Access to quality inputs is critical to improving and diversifying smallholder agricultural production. Rural smallholder farmers have challenges accessing diversified quality inputs and mostly depend on farm saved seeds, due to last mile limitations that affect input distribution and affordability.

Cooperatives and farmer groups when consolidated can make meaning partnerships with input suppliers and distributors ensure value for money on both sides . Partenring with seed distributors enables cooperatives to get the much needed quality seed and advice on best practice from the partners. Countrywide’s partnership with Good Nature Agro to support over 3,000 smallholder farmers, access nutrient dense legume and drought tolerant seeds such as soyabeans aims to improve last mile input distribution of quality inputs.

Countrywide cooperative working with offtakers shall supported under the over 10,000 small holder and emergent famers in the 2022/23 season with access to input credit.

Financial Services 

Access to finance is critical to improving sustainability of smallholder farmers and farming groups. By creating business linkage between farmers and offtakers, Countrywide Cooperatinve is able to leverage these agreements and work with input providers and financial institutions to provide  financing including input loans to the farmers. The cooperative’s ability to consolidate these groups provides the lenders with a level of comfort y reducing the risk profile.



Small scale farmers lose up to 30 percent of their harvest due to poor postproduction handling and storage. Countrywide Cooperatives aims to work with partners who have worked with and developed products and technolody that will help these farmers mitigate this high yield loss. Use of relevant storage techniques and on-time transportation shall help smallholder farmers to store their products up to three years without being affected by pests. The use of hermetic storage solutions to smallholder farmers shall prove to safe guard seeds and yield.

Countywide working with various partners is developing an application that will be able to allow farmers to trade and also pay and receive money digitally from their farms, the app will also link the farmers to transporters who are registered. Utilizing the NASCU payment platform all transactions are safe and secure.

Smallholder farmers are able access market information through the platform. The use of the marketplace technology will create a seamless process that will save both buyer and seller much valuable time.

Insurance Crop & Livestock Index 

Climate change globally has affected small holder farmers with frequency and intensity such as flooding and droughts, causing significant loss of livelihoods when they occur. Many farmers have been discouraged from investing in agriculture due to the huge losses incurred when disasters strike. Countrywide working with various insurances companies has embarked on supporting smallholder farmers access insurance to reduce exposure to climate related risks. Countrywide has began a educational drive for the farmers to enroll in weather index insurance.

The livestock index insurance will help smallholder livestock farmers to mitigate the impact of climate changes. A diverse range of index insurance products will enable farmers to protect their livelihoods, and build resilience.