THE International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has invested about $80 million in various projects throughout Zambia.
IFAD country director Abla Benhammouche said her organisation had been supporting farmers through various projects.
Ms. Benhammouche said the assistance rendered to rural farmers was meant to improve their livelihoods through programmes such as the Smallholder Livestock Investment Project, Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme and the Crop Productivity Enhancement Programme.
She observed that the procurement process was the biggest problem that led to delayed implementation of most projects, especially in the rural areas.
And speaking after touring IFAD funded projects in Choma, Kalomo, Kazungula and Livingstone IFAD regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa Sana Jatta expressed satisfaction with activities being implemented to support rural farmers.
Mr Jatta has expressed happiness with the smallholder livestock investment which was providing support to contain and control the deadly contagious bovine pleuropneumonia in Kazungula.
At Sikaunzwe agriculture camp in Kazungula Southern Province veterinary officer Charles Maseka said his department worked in closer collaboration with the Smallholder Livestock Investment Project to control and contain the deadly contagious bovine pleuropneumonia disease in cattle.
Dr. Maseka noted that although his department had encountered challenges in slaughtering animals affected by CBPP, farmers had finally succumbed to the call by Government to stop the killer disease from spreading to other districts.