Drip irrigation use in Zambia
Drip irrigation use in Zambia
Photo credit: Adam Öjdahl / IWMI
AICCRA Zambia is scaling access to and use of climate-smart services and innovations to help Zambian farmers and communities safeguard their livelihoods in the face of climate change.

Climate change is threatening Zambian crops and livestock systems, impacting agriculture businesses and undermining livelihoods.

It is increasingly urgent for Zambian farmers and livestock keepers to be able to anticipate climate-related events and take appropriate preventative actions.

AICCRA Zambia is working with local and national partners to scale actionable climate information, de-risk investments into agribusinesses and boost the knowledge and use of climate-smart agriculture technologies which promote gender and social inclusion.

“AICCRA Zambia aims to improve water, food, and energy security through access to knowledge, technologies, and decision-making tools, to strengthen climate resilience in Zambia's agriculture and food systems in the face of a hotter and drier climate."

Simon Mwale, CCARDESA Programmes and Grants Manager



Derisking support for Zambian agribusinesses through an Accelerator

Launched in February 2022, the science-driven AICCRA Zambia Accelerator Program offers a win-win solution for SMEs and investors alike - showing how science can be used to catalyze finance into climate-smart agriculture for meaningful change.

Over the last year, AICCRA and partners have worked closely with a cohort of 14 Zambian agribusinesses. These were grouped into five innovation ‘bundles', each focused on a different value chain or challenge specific to Zambia’s agriculture:

  1. Bundle 1 (solar): 5,500 community members accessed off-grid solar irrigation technologies with Vitalite, Lupiya Loans and Lima Links.
  2. Bundle 2 (aqua): 45,154 smallholder fish farmers trained on integrated aquaculture agriculture for land and efficient water use.
  3. Bundle 3 (seeds): 5,200 farmers accessed climate-smart seed varieties for groundnut, maize, and soybean value chains. The bundle also promoted Plantcatalyst products to improve soil fertility and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers and other growth stimulants.
  4. Bundle 4 (integrated livestock/legume): reached 3,500 people through its network of 55 cooperatives and 89 traditional community leaders. Farmers were trained on the benefits of using gliricidia sepium trees (a plant that improves soil fertility and repels pests), and produced 45.7 million plants for planting, boosting wider adoption of organic farming.
  5. Bundle 5 (Gender Empowerment and Social Inclusion (GESI) bundle): reached 59,392 individuals in the crops, aquaculture and livestock value chains. This was achieved through through targeted training and awareness creation on mobile-based CIS and CSA practices for soyabeans and groundnuts, in particular for vulnerable communities (People Living with HIV (PLHIV), Women-led households, Gender-based Violence Survivors, and Young Women).

The consolidated efforts of the AICCRA Zambia Accelerator partner portfolio has benefited the livelihoods of over 118,000 Zambian farmers, 36% of them women, and attracted an additional 500,000 USD in grant funding from a USAID-led global crisis-relief fund that invests in rapid solutions for food insecurity.


Fostering an enabling environment for start-ups and young entrepreneurs

Through an Internship and Innovation Grant (I2G), the AICCRA Zambia team has provided local internship programs for SMEs and entrepreneurs. In 2022, AICCRA partnered with Lusaka-based innovation and technology hub BongoHive, the University of Zambia and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to host an ideas jam – a light-touch workshop used to identify and define problems and develop solutions in a short amount of time. The workshop explored solutions for different aspects of the agriculture sector, including climate-smart agriculture and information.

The I2G program supports young entrepreneurs and young professionals through the private sector working experience and demand-driven innovation development. The overall objective of I2G program is to build greater trust, knowledge sharing, and collaboration between the private sector, public sector, and research institutions that, in turn, contribute to an enabling environment to scale CSA-CIS bundles in an economically and environmentally sustainable way.

Connecting climate science and agriculture

AICCRA Zambia is collaborating with key partners towards building a national data ecosystem to support blending of climate science and agriculture through technology and partnerships.

A big challenge concerning the collection and application of agricultural data is that Zambian institutions working in the areas of climate and agriculture development deal with incomplete information and also work in silos. One way to solve this is through the establishment of an Ag-Data Hub that acts as a central platform for digitising and integrating agricultural data collected from key institutions to improve agro-advisory services to Zambian crop, livestock and fish farmers.

This includes institutions such as the Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD) in the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

“The AgData hub will be an important resource not only for the meteorological department but for the agriculture sector and for researchers, who will now have a better understanding of the ways in which the climate is impacting agricultural productivity,"

Edson Nkonde, Director of the Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD).

AICCRA Zambia supports the Zambia Meteorological Department

AICCRA-Zambia is led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in collaboration with:

  • World Fish
  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)


To learn more about AICCRA Zambia’s activities, please contact:
Phindiwe Nkosi, Communications Lead -

Latest stories


Press Release | Zambia agribusiness SME Accelerator launches second cohort to boost climate action


Zambia Accelerator: Virtual Info & Matchmaking Session


IWD 2024: Invest in Women - Accelerate Progress


The private sector is helping to scale the adoption of ‘climate-smart’ aquaculture in Zambia - boosting women’s role one pond at a time

Innovation story

Foundational curricula for managing climate risks in agriculture forged through collaboration


World Bank commits $100 million at COP28 to CGIAR ‘climate-smart’ agriculture project in Africa


AICCRA at the 11th Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-XI)


Creative arts inspire take-up of aquaculture innovation in Zambia, World Bank guidelines help


Africa's Action Plan for 'Early Warning for All' Launched at the African Climate Summit


After Nairobi: Innovation, partnership and finance to scale climate-smart agriculture in Africa


Demonstration day for young Zambian agribusiness entrepreneurs in Lusaka


Scaling agriculture science and innovation for a climate-resilient future in Africa