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Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) Field Day - Zambia
2 April 2012


Every year HaSSP showcases and celebrates good work done by smallholder seed producers in the four pilot countries (Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). This year, the Zambia Field Day was hosted by Ms. Gertrude Zulu Chomba. Her farm, tucked away in the Likumbi Forest in Kapiri Mposhi, Central Zambia boasts 0.5ha ha of seed maize (MMV 515), 0.25ha of beans seed (Lyambai and Kabulangeti) and 0.25ha of groundnuts (MGV 4). This is not her first season, Ms. Chomba has been producing seed from the inception of HaSSP in 2010 and her seed production has grown since then; in the first season, she planted 0.25ha of maize seed (ZM 521).

The day started off with smallholder farmers singing and dancing welcoming the visitors despite the pouring rain, which they saw as Blessings from above. The field day, attended by the HaSSP Mid-Term Review Team from the FANRPAN Regional Secretariat Office; Representatives from the donor, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation; Seed Elders from Zambia; Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, District Commissioner (Urgent Brave Mazuba) of Kapiri Mposhi, Kabwe District, andseed growers and farmers.

In his address, Mr. Mazumba committed to supporting the farmers in Kapiri Mposhi as they have shown passion for farming and seed production. He is proud to be associated with a team of achievers such as these farmers.

New Maize Variety

One of the fascinating things learnt from Ms Chomba's farm is the new maize seed variety she's planted this year, which is MMV 415. This variety, according to Dr. Miti (Chief Seeds Office) came about when land races maize were collected in Zambia and evaluated for tolerance to low nitrogen (N) and drought; superior ones were selected and self-pollinated. S1 collection was then used to develop the open pollinated variety. He further explained that, what differentiates this variety from others is the fact that this variety has high yielding capacity under abiotic stresses (low N and drought) and optimal conditions. Under optimal conditions the variety can produce 7.5t/ha and in low soil fertility areas this variety can produce 0.8t/ha and under drought the seed variety can produce 2.7t/ha.

The variety was released in 2011 and the current 2011/12 season is the first for full commercialization. HaSSP, Stewards Globe Ltd., Indigenous Seed Company, Agrobiz Inputs and Kamasika seed growers association are also involved in commercialization of the variety. Two seed growers under HaSSP in Kapiri Mposhi (Mrs Getrude Zulu Chomba and Mrs Evaness Munsanje ) are growing the variety and will distribute it primarily within the district and beyond.

Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) Field Day, Zambia
Harmonised Seed Security Project (HaSSP) Field Day, Zambia
Bean Seed Field
Bean Seed Field
Farmers from Kapiri Mposhi attending the Field Day
Farmers from Kapiri Mposhi attending the Field Day
Field Day Visitors Going through the Field
Field Day Visitors Going through the Field
Guests at the Kapiri Mposhi Field Day
Guests at the Kapiri Mposhi Field Day
Ms Chomba addressing Field Day Visitors
Ms Chomba addressing Field Day Visitors
Seed Producers Entertaining the Farmers at the Field Day
Seed Producers Entertaining the Farmers at the Field Day
Seed Producers Welcoming Guests at the Field Day
Seed Producers Welcoming Guests at the Field Day

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