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  Capacity Enhancement of Extension Services Lessons learnt from the Workshops in Kafue, Mongu and Kasama, and Some Thoughts on the way forward  ( Quoted from Weekly Progress Vol. 32)

Masayoshi Ono (Chief Advisor RESCAP)

The RESCAP conducted the Needs Assessment Survey with sample of 1,000 farmers from 100 villages in 50 camps and 99 CEOs of 10 districts in 3 provinces. Based on findings from the survey, the RESCAP conducted the workshops in Kafue, Mongu and Kasama. The main purposes of the workshop were to share findings from the Survey and discuss the way forward to improve extension services with CEOs/BEOs, SAOs, SMSs, DACOs and other MACO officers at district level as well as with PAO, PACOs and other MACO officials at provincial level. At the end of each workshop, each district was asked to prepare Action Plan to improve their work performance, hence, extension services. Below is my personal findings/thoughts after observing the workshops.


 1)   Ultimate goal/objective of extension services/RESCAP is to improve quality of farmer’s life in Zambia. In this regard, Camp Extension Officer plays the most important front line worker’s role to work closely with farmers in partnership with various stakeholders and with support of other MACO officers. Depending on surrounding situations of farmers in terms of natural condition, proximity to market and its size, infrastructure (such as road and communication),  and affordability to agricultural inputs, services to be provided by CEOs will vary from one village/camp to another. Farmers who are close to market or transport with better infrastructure may have better access to private service providers or buyers though the Government (including CEO) must make sure that farmers are benefiting from such services provided by private sector.

2) As far as the result of Needs Assessment Survey is concerned, it has become apparent that majority of farmers have less access to market with little cash transaction, but a common form of trade is barter of agricultural products among farmers themselves. It implies that there are few private service providers who can substitute roles of CEOs in rural community.

3)   Thus, we need to equip CEOs with sound “Knowledge”, “Skills” and “Attitude” to provide best services out of what each CEO can offer and share with farmers. Knowledge can be gained by CEO from information available through different means such as books, fellow CEOs, SAOs etc as the Needs Assessment Survey revealed. However, such knowledge does not become valuable, unless CEO applies it in practice. Furthermore, knowledge can be best utilized with application of skills of CEO taking into account “How” best it can be applied. This can only be possible if CEO can understand the situation of farming/agriculture and its potential in his/her camp and apply his/her knowledge effectively. Knowledge and Skills can be best combined through practical experience and farmers also can learn best with hand-on training by CEO rather than lecture and theoretical sessions.

4)   Improvement of Extension Services by MACO has a number of challenges at various level of the Government administration, i.e.: District, Province and National levels. From institutional point of views, we need to design strategic intervention at each level to strengthen organizational capability of delivering best services with limited resource available at each level. I would describe several issues for immediate attention and actions as below.

       i.        Capacity Advancement of CEO/BEO                        

As I mentioned earlier, CEO is the most important front line government worker in isolated areas of rural communities in Zambia. Thus, CEO needs to be equipped with best/updated knowledge and skills and with right attitude/approach to assist farmers in improving agricultural production and productivity for the purpose of food security as well for reaching market economy. Apart from knowledge and skills on better agricultural practices, CEO should be also familiar with salient features of socio-economic situations of camp/village community of which he/she is in charge. Thus it is recommended that CEO should prepare profile of camp with format developed by MACO HQ. Profile should cover major socio-economic data with focus on agricultural practices, market, infrastructure and identification of major stakeholders.

While CEO is expected to improve their knowledge and skills with their own efforts and support provided by MACO, CEO should also be equipped with quick reference to provide appropriate services to farmers on time taking into account major crops and potential and threats of production throughout a year in a particular district/region. In this regard, RESCAP is in the process of proposing and designing “CEO Handbook” with calendar/diary with quick reference for what to do with major crop and soil conservation throughout a year and records of daily work. Handbook will be a pocket size and we can seek some sponsorship from private sector as partner to agricultural development (if MACO/GORZ’s policy allows it). It can be a good advertisement for potential sponsor(s) with distribution of more than 1,500 copies throughout the country.

    ii.        Capacity Building at District Level               

While CEO is required to report to SAO through BEO, it had been observed during the workshops that frequency of reporting and contents to be reported are not necessarily uniform in each district or province. Furthermore, feedbacks from PAO to SAO or from SAO to BEO/CEO are not given enough or on time as it should be due to various reasons including lack of meeting/consultation. Thus, there seems to be a gap between CEO/BEO and SAO in terms of regular meeting and exchange of information on agricultural practice in each camp/block.  It has also been observed that there seem to be a psychological distance between CEO/BEO and SAO owing to difference on academic qualification and practical experiences. This is because while most of CEOs are graduates from colleges with diploma or certificate but with long practical experiences, SAOs are graduates from universities with degree with little practical experiences on the field. While CEO/BEO is expected to be pro-active to provide their professional services to farmers, there is a need to strengthen supervisory/advisory capacity of SAO/SMS at district level to monitor and assess activities of CEO/BEO more closely as their responsibility. Thus, MACO needs to develop comprehensive and effective monitoring format for SAO. At the same time, The respective attitudes need to be changed to work as a team to achieve common goals/objectives set for each camp/district. It is desirable that such attitude and mind-set be first established at the time of employment through induction course prior to assignment of CEO/SAO to field/district. At the moment, there is no such induction course for new recruits for MACO and new staff are assigned to respective posts without any orientation or induction programme.

Furthermore, there is a need to develop a sense of team work beyond each department as “MACO” at district. SAO, DACO, SMS, TBS, Cooperatings, Agri-Business, and others must work together with a common vision to achieve improvement of production and productivity of rural farmers. This should be led by DACO with development of vision and strategy for each district. MACO to provide district with guidance through workshops. There should be no extra cost/budget required to initiate this exercise as they are all physically presented at District Headquarters. It should be noted that while some district offices have already been holding similar meeting regularly, often such meetings discuss mostly administrative matters rather than agriculture itself. “Strategy” involves mapping of status of agriculture in the district and District office should come up with desirable status/target of improvement and stipulate in their strategy on how they plan to achieve. 

   iii.        Capacity Building at Provincial Level                   

Provincial Office plays a key role into liaising between District (activities) and the MACO Headquarters (Policy). They should be responsible to evaluate relevancy of policy and strategy designed by MACO to outputs of activities at district and regional levels. PAO should take a pro-active role to oversee performance of each district and responsible to regularly report on status of extension services in the province. PACO also needs to take a pro-active role to coordinate activities of different departments to provide full support to CEO/BEO through PAOs/SAOs.


It has been observed that often works of different departments under MACO are fragmented by lines of budget or line of programme/projects designed by the MACO Headquarters. Thus, there is a need to develop a common vision for province and translated into Regional Strategy and Plan with reference to district plans in each province.

Strengthening of institutional framework and the establishment of a working committee with representatives of different departments needs to be spearheaded by PACO with regular meetings to assess the performance of each district against their plans, and discuss measures to be taken at provincial level to assist extension services through district offices. Such measures can be immediately undertaken with guidance/directives from the MACO HQ. There is also a strong need to change a mind-set of management officials at both district and provincial levels from receptive way of doing business based on programmes and directives from the MACO HQ to pro-active and creative way of doing business in a competitive manner. Close monitoring and sharing and flow of information on progress in each province could provide provincial offices with competitive incentives to improve their way of doing business. Furthermore, while topics on discussions and meetings are often centered on administrative matters and constraints with resources/budget allocation, we need to discuss more on what and how we can do to improve extension services with what we have.



  Training Needs for Improvement of Zambian Extension Services  ( Quoted from Weekly Progress Vol. 27 & Vol. 28)

Takahiro Miyoshi

              One of the objectives of the Needs Assessment Survey is to identify the training needs that will form the basis for designing the training interventions for improving extension services.  The first critical question is “Who should be targeted for the training?” It is important to model the information flow to the farmers from the different sources.  It was posited that training should strengthen the channels of information flow which significantly influences the farmer’s practice and enterprises.

              Farmers (1,000 samples) responses on their main sources of information were rated on scale as follows; “Very Much” = 5, “To some extent” = 3, “Fair” = 1, “Little/Not” = 0.  The scores were first aggregated and then average values derived.

               The figure clearly shows, CEO/BEO to be the main information source that most households that were sampled rely on.  Other important sources are the “Friends” and “Relatives”.  It is necessary to note that the peer-to-peer information flow in this case is the second important source of information for extension service delivery.  The third one is “Radio”, which is the main public media for rural farmers.  This demonstrates the importance of CEO/BEO as the main source of agricultural information, while recognizing also that there are a variety of information sources for farmers.

Figure1:  Information Source for Farmers


              Similarly, average values based on the CEOs (99 samples) were computed.  The graph shows that for CEOs, the first source of information is DACO-SAO.  The second source, which is almost at par with the first one, is “fellow CEOs/BEOs”.  It is important to note that as was the case among farmers, “Peer-to-peer” information flow is found to be very important, even for the CEOs.  The third source is “SMS” and “Technical Documents”.  The public media sources such as Radio, TV and Newspapers are also rated fairly highly.  Just like was the case with farmers, CEOs/BEOs have a variety of sources of information.

              Correlation values (Pearson’s r) were also computed among different sources of information for the Farmers and CEOs/BEOs in the analysis. Generally, the analysis suggests that farmers and CEOs/BEOs have own patterns of sourcing information than is generally assumed by extension service providers.


Figure 2:  Information Source for CEOs

            The right model was built by synthesizing all the findings. The light green arrows show that the main channel of information flow to farmers from DACO/SAO is through the CEO/BEO.  This is the “main stream” to the smallholder farmers.  Meanwhile, there are alternative or complementary channels of information flow: “peer-to-peer” information flow channels, which are colored in orange. The alternative sources are “Relatives/Friends” for the farmers, while for CEOs they are “Fellow CEOs”.  The third source of information is “Radio” (public media) for farmers.  The public media is also important for CEOs, for whom “Technical Documents” are also available.

              Thus, it can be said that the main source of information for farmers is the CEO/BEO who rely mostly on DACO-SAO, but there are also various secondary or indirect sources of information. This assertion that individual farmers and CEOs have different patterns of getting information also follows from the correlation analysis.  It appears from the analysis that individual farmers and CEOs receive information differently, based on their own individual circumstances and/or requirements.


Figure 3:  Information Flow Model of Extension Service

              The second important issue that the survey sought to establish is the content of the training.  Due to limited budget, the content should be selected strategically and training durations made shorter to ensure that training addresses real needs and more staff are covered.

              In the survey, data about households’ farming practices, levels of knowledge and potentials was collected from farmers.  The table below shows the “top-10” agricultural enterprises (crops and livestock) in terms of proportion of the sample practicing them, level of knowledge and level of potential.

             Column (A) “Practice” shows the most common agricultural enterprises and related management practices. Column (B) “Knowledge” shows the top agricultural enterprises and knowledge set that farmers feel confident that they posses.  Column (C) “Potential” shows highest ranked agricultural enterprises in terms of potential.

Table 1:  Rankings of Agricultural Enterprises and Related Practices, Knowledge and Potential



               Maize, cassava and poultry are the top three most practiced farming practices. It is interesting to note that the level of knowledge of these three is not of the same ranking when it comes to practicing.  It is obvious that there is a gap between practice and knowledge level.  Similarly, there is a gap in ranking between practicing and potentials.

To clarify these gaps, the following rankings were made by combining elements in the three columns.  The new values of gaps among “Practice”, “Knowledge” and “Potential” are calculated by first subtracting values one from the other. Thus, three new values are derived as the gaps of “Practice – Knowledge”, “Potential – Practice” and “Potential – Knowledge”.

              The rankings in the table below show the different roles of agricultural enterprises in different contexts.  For example, the gap “Practice-Knowledge” shows that farmers are practicing a particular farming but they may not be confident about their knowledge and skills.             

Table 2: Ranking of Agricultural Enterprises and Related Practices in Gaps of Practicing Population, Knowledge and Potential


              The four highest ranked enterprises are maize, poultry, groundnuts, cassava, etc.  Training of farmers in these enterprises could be effective and might have a much broader impact on the population. Since the population of practitioners is high, the training of groups or mutual learning should be effective.

              The gap “Potential – Practice” shows that farmers have noticed potential of a particular enterprise but there are not so many farmers practicing it.  Enterprises that fall in this category include cabbage, onion, Chinese cabbage, goats, etc. Training of farmers of these enterprises could produce better economic impact since the trained farmers can expect more income by marketing these relatively “high value” and/or new products. Since the population of practitioners is small, the training can be concentrated to individuals, lead-farmers or interest groups.

              The gap “Potential – Knowledge” shows that a lot of farmers think it has potential but they are not confident about the embedded or their knowledge. There might be over expectation of farmers without right knowledge.  If this were the case, the entry point for extension officers is to provide the right information to the farmers by giving a simple leaflet or informing through public media (a radio).

              These results show that agriculture enterprises have different positions in different contexts. So it follows therefore that different kinds of extension strategies can be applied. The extension officer and supervisors (District) should recognize the different needs of agriculture enterprises and training needs, which must be addressed and the extension strategy re-aligned. Thus, training needs for extension services should take into consideration these variances in reality.




 Ten Years with PaViDIA  (Quoted from vol.21 of Weekly Progress)

Bigboy Noombo (Principal, Chalimbana FTI, Chongwe District, Lusaka)

                 More than ten years work experience with PaViDIA has made me realize that Rural Development cannot be achieved overnight especially if you want the community to go through the process of development by themselves.

                 In most cases governments inject huge sum of money to take development to the rural areas yet there is little that is being achieved. Few years after the project life, the community slowly goes back to where they were before the project, mainly because of lack of understanding of the project and the development process. In short there is failure by the community to appreciate the project due to a number of factors.

                 Taking huge sums of money to trigger development in a rural set up is not enough in itself but what is important is to know whether the recipient community knows and understands the change you want to bring about. Their role in the planning process, benefits and the period it will take for them to start realizing the benefits from the project. Mostly they value individual or household benefits as opposed to group or village one.                  

                  I am sure most of the people are now content with PaViDIA and what the project stood for in terms of village development. PaViDIA is an engine for development in any given situation because of its main project components such as Training, Infrastructure Development and Income Generation. Some of the common problems that people face in the project implementation process are addressed adequately by PaViDIA approach using the above three parameters. It has helped the target communities and change agents change their mind set on rural development through continuous trainings and monitoring.

                 Therefore, training should be an ongoing activity in the life of the project, it opens up the mind of the people and tend to help people appreciated the project and bring sense of ownership. Some of the training needs may include leadership, conflict management, financial management, risk management, participatory monitoring and evaluation, participatory constitution making and management, etc. once these are put in place village development is guaranteed.

                However, there are lessons learnt from the project’s performance.

1.        Conflicts during implementation in most micro-projects due to either wrangles between village leadership and project leaders or merely selfishness among leaders over project resources.

2.        Inadequate monitoring of micro-projects by staff after the implementation phase due to poor logistical support by the district.

3.        Emerging of two villages to make up for the number of households required to implement a micro-project in some cases failed because of project ownership wrangles.

4.        Individual Sustainable agriculture farmers’ failures to sustain their activities after withdraw of support from the project because of over dependence on the project.

5.        Change of project leadership was another big challenge. The leadership that started the project had a vision for village development as compared to subsequent committees. Immediately change was effected after their term of office a lot of setbacks were recorded in most villages, these were to do with misappropriation of project resources.

6.        Project Pass On system especially on livestock needs to be implemented on the onset; it helps in creating village cohesion and ownership. People in the project perceive this as immediate benefit.

7.        Constitution of the project must be made by the community to allow its smooth implementation.

8.        Piggery rearing as one of the components failed in all the villages due to cost of production.


               PaViDIA’s successes in some project areas were attributed to quick intervention by the community through monitoring in addressing some of the above stated points. Although monitoring is perceived as an expensive activity to undertake, its implementation in PaViDIA reviewed a lot of planning and implementation gaps that wouldn’t have been realized without it. Again monitoring is not just a site visit as Robert Chambers puts it. It involves discussing with the community about project progress, their vision about village development and whether they are still on cause to achieve the village vision. After a participatory discussion the community is facilitated to come up with an Action Plan for the activities that they will undertake in the next quarter. This kind of approach helped the community know their role in the project and village development without waiting for the change agent to come and tell them what to do.


               Having given an overview of some of experience with PaViDIA, in the next edition (or later) of the news letter will look at this ten years experience at four different levels in more details. These will be PaViDIA at Village, District, Province and National levels.


 Essays by Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers  (Quoted from vol.13&14 of Weekly Progress)



    I was a member of a group visiting PaViDIA/RESCAP for its orientation, conducted on 29th of April.  At MACO Headquarter, we were introduced PaViDIA outline. Then we went to a workshop for villagers and extension officers of MACO, held in Cooperative College.  Many village people came to attend.  They discussed what to do for improvement of own village with PaViDIA Approach.  Afterward, we visited one of villages implementing PaViDIA in Chongwe district.  We looked around some components of Micro Project of PaViDIA such as water-well, consumer shop, poultry, a community hall used for community school and storage shed.

                  I have learned PaViDIA Approach and its implementation system.  I have also learned its history. It was first time for me to see a real workshop.  Before orientation, I had not known what village people do actually. Now I know PaViDIA/RESCAP efforts in village. I think it is a very amazing support.

Atsushi Hirota (Mr.)


           This orientation tour gave me precious opportunities to observe various skills, knowledge, international cooperation, and etc..  It is very helpful before working in the field of Kafue District.  I want to make use of this experience for my working as a volunteer, and also want to improve Kafue district’s villages.

   (Mr. Hirota is a Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer and he will work in Kafue District under RESCAP/PaViDIA)




             29th April, I visited Leadership Action Workshop (LAW) at Cooperative College and PaViDIA project site to learn PaViDIA approach, because I will be involved in RESCAP in Kasama as JICA volunteer. This visit was very useful and attractive for me, and I could get information from observed PaViDIA site village.

              In LAW, village people discussed actively about their vision irrespective of men or women. It was a surprise for me because I learned about a serious rural gender situation from a Zambian professor. However they insist their opinion to join PaViDIA. I could feel their enthusiasm to improve their life or agricultural situation.


Fumiko Kakehi (Ms.)JOCV

           PaViDIA approach involves all stakeholders who are MACO, Extension officers and villagers. Therefore, this approach is “participatory” approach. Villagers and extension officers identify their strengths, problems and needs for their villages in this project. It is important that not only villager’s participation is important but also their empowerment. These social perspectives are needed to achieve an improvement in their livelihood, and should be included in the project goals.  In order to effectively continue the project, monitoring and appropriate advices should be applied. These activities are important roles for outsiders.

              Now, I’ m in Kasama and I have already started work. I will try to work using these learning experiences with rural people. I’d like to enjoy my work in the 2 years that I will be attached to DACO in Kasama.

(Ms. Kakehi is a Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer and she will work in Kasama District under RESCAP/PaViDIA)




 Needs Assessment Survey with Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Method (Quoted from vol.12 of Weekly Progress)


Needs Assessment Survey with Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Method

              RESCAP will conduct a “Needs Assessment Survey for Extension Service”.  The survey results will be used for designing of the training of extension officers.  The results will also be used as indicators for monitoring progress and impact of the project. Thus, the survey covers wide range of issues related to extension services.

              To cover the wide range of issues, the project applies Balanced Scorecard method. The balanced scorecard (BSC) is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide.

              It aims at aligning business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals. It was originated by Drs. Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and David Norton as a performance measurement framework that added strategic non-financial performance measures to traditional financial metrics to give managers and executives a more 'balanced' view of organizational performance.

                The idea of BSC is not new.  But application of BSC to extension service is probably the first thing to be tried.  For this purpose, a technical committee composed of Japanese Experts and MACO HQ professional staff, is formed to spearhead the development of BSC for extension service.  Currently, the following design of application is discussed.  Based on this, questionnaire sheets are developed.


                                        -       Application of BSC to MACO Extension

Orthodox BSC         (indicators)

MACO Extension         (indicators)


Operating income, return on capital, economic value added

Economic and Social Impacts

Income, assets,  health, education, social networking


Customer satisfaction, customer retention, market share

Agricultural Productivity and Marketing

Agric. Production & productivity, quality, marketing

Internal Business Processes

Cost, quality, procurement, production, speed of communication

Agriculture Practice

Practice and techniques applied, cultivated areas, skills of farmers

Learning and Growth

Employment satisfaction, retention, skills & knowledge

Extension Service Delivery

Frequency and quality of extension, skills & knowledge of CEO



 Using Affordable Technologies to Economize Monitoring Cost (Quoted from vol.9 of Weekly Progress)

Using Affordable Technologies to Economize Monitoring Cost

                                                                                                                                by T.Miyoshi (POR-HQ)

            This era of technologies, there are lots of high-technologies now available and affordable. One of the such technologies is mobile cell phone. Number of users of mobile cell phone is growing rapidly.  Sometimes, I observe small-scale farmers in rural “remote” areas are hanging cell phones on their necks.  The mobile phone is not cheap for farmers and it costs 1/3 of their annual income.  However, some farmers still find it worth to buy a cell phone.  One of farmers explained that it’s reasonable to have a cell phone because he could save the transport fee to check his uncle and ants who are living in other places.  As a farmer in business, of course, the cell phone is used for checking market prices of crops. 

       Appointment with a group of small-scale farmers in Chongwe district used to be very costly, because I had to visit to make just an appointment to meet in the next time!!  But now, I just phone them to make an appointment.  For an extension work, using a cell phone has the same advantage because the officer can avoid to waste fuel and time by knowing whether a group of farmers will be there or not.

       Other technology is GPS/GIS (Global Positioning System/ Geographical Information System). GPS is very powerful to know the accurate positions of villages and camp-level offices.  In PaViDIA Phase I (2002-2007), the budget of monitoring activities was able to be economized nearly 2/3 or half (annually 10,000-12,000 USD to 6,000 – 7,000 USD) by using GPS/GIS to plan accurately the routes of visitation. The GPS used to be very expensive, but now the price range is 2-3 millions ZMK (500USD). Also Google Earth is a free software to GPS information attached to real satellite images. 

    This technology happened to be useful in my trip between Kasama and Chinsali last week.  When I asked the district staff to connect to Chinsali from Kasama, they suggested to use the route through Mpika.  Actually, we used this route (red colored) and took more than 4 hours to reach Chinsali.  But I found my GPS showing other short-cut route (blue colored) and used the route to reach Kasama within 3 hours.






391 Km

4 hours

   Chinsali – Kasama (Pontoon)

265 Km

3 hours

          You may argue that pontoon is not reliable and it is rather costly to use the route since it is not known the pontoon is usable or not.  For this argument, I advise to use a mobile phone. Now I have a contact number of the pontoon operator, saying people are now calling him to check the operation timely. 

             Moreover it is worth to use this route for MACO district officers.  The route (blue) is through the rural areas, where farmers and camp-level extension officers are actually operating.  If the district use this route, they can visit extension officers and even observe the reality of farming in rural areas. Monitoring of PaViDIA Micro Projects would be easier if the target villages are selected alongside of the route. 



 Motivation of Field Extension Officers (Quoted from vol.6 of Weekly Progress)


The Job Satisfaction Survey of Extension Officers:    An executive summary         by T.Miyoshi (POR-HQ)

                 Some important issues relating to improvement of extension officers’ performance could be more psychological than physical (or logistical).  Capacity development should also cover psychological issues like “motivation”. Thus, there is always a need to learn the mind-sets of extension officers for capacity development of the extension officers.

                   In the mid of February, nearly 50 field officers participated a training for WFP-funded PaViDIA Program in Western Province.   The author found that that was a good chance to get some data related to mind-set of the extension officers.  A one sheet questionnaire was quickly prepared and distributed among participants (MACO field-level extension officers).  The followings are the results.

                   A total of fifty (50) copies of a questionnaire sheet were distributed among the extension officers who were participants in the training for WFP-funded PaViDIA Program in Western Province.  From distributed fifty (50) copies, thirty-four (34) sheets were collected.                  

                   Analysis of the data of this survey revealed some aspects of mind-sets of the extension officers. 

                   First of all, the extension officers have self-esteem (a proud) as being a government extension officer.  Self-esteem is a fundamental component of being a good worker. The improvement of their performance should be conducted by calling for their self-esteem to be fully realized.

                   The relationship with bosses (i.e. district staff) seems to play a very important role in the mind-set of the extension officers.  Close supervision from the bosses is critical to motivate the field officers.  Performance improvement of the extension officers should be conducted together with full involvement of district staff.

                   Compared to good indicators discussed above, job conditions such as equipment and salary were evaluated less than satisfactory, that had been expected from our experiences. On the other hand, it is encouraging to know that Out of Pocket Allowance is not always a determinant for attending at training.  Some officers are always ready to get knowledge.  It requires further study, but the factor analysis (which was conducted in the main report, but was not included in this summary) seemed to imply that Out of Pocket Allowance is sometime misleading the selection of the trainees in need of knowledge and skills.

                   Finally, this psychological study revealed the complexity of human mind, and this complexity should be taken in consideration for planning a motivation strategy for improvement of performance of extension officers.


 Fish and Rice (Quoted from vol.5 of Weekly Progress)

Do fish damage rice plants?   “Revisiting Traditional Skills”                  

     Every time I went to a Restaurant anywhere in Japan I have always asked for rice or fish and sometimes both rice and fish (“Gohan to Sakana” in Nihongo, the Japanese language) a combination which may sound unpopular in my home country. I like fish in Japan because it is   as tasty as the Barotse bream and its for this reason that most of my room level frying involves fish. Little did I know that, the combination I like so much is causing misery and poverty among my relatives in Senanga and other villages of Western Province.

   Why so much misery? Why trouble themselves growing a crop that involves so much gambling and headaches? Why should one source of income disturb another to extents of making the investor miserable? What is the size of the fish that is causing this misery? Does it mean all initiative is lost at village level?

                Funny as my questions may sound but there should some missing links in Nalutambala village, particularly among rice farmers. Should they continue growing rice? The answer is yes. They should continue. Mr. Koffi Annan in his opening remarks at the General Meeting of the Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution Africa (AGRA), held at JICA-Research Institute on 3rd June 2009; clearly stated that, rice consumption is growing faster than population growth not only world over but also in Sub-Sahara Africa. If one doubts this statement, evidence is available in our local markets; imported rice all over.  The aim of the general meeting was to enhance the resolve to help alleviate Africa’s food crisis specifically through helping Smallholder Rice Farmers. Surely, the people of Nalutambala village must be happy to have such high level support. Not overlooking the fact that, the meeting was also attended by Madam Sadako Ogata JICA president. The meeting also pledged support to New Rice for Africa (NERICA) upland rice which the Sustainable Agriculture component of PaViDIA is already promoting in Zambia. Cheers.

                However, our farmers are unfortunate in that, they have no “pre-warning” systems but “post-warning” systems, meaning that crop damage this season is warning for next season. The point is; crop loss is historically predictive and solutions should be sought in the history and culture of the people. Fish can be trapped using a combination of modern and traditional methods. Modern methods involve nets of different mesh sizes ranging from 1”inch to 4 or 5” inch. Traditional methods involve using grass and tree specie traps ranging from Liandi, makuko, tutamba, matumba (in Lozi language) which are supported by a 40cm high ridge that directs fish into pathways only at specific points where the trap is located. Honestly the water velocity in lui area is not a threat to these methods. making this ridge known as maalelo in the local language is not as laborious as digging a canal. Tutamba are normally done by ladies/ children and involves use of baits that attract fingering inside followed by an hourly or 30 minutes interval catch depending on the availability of fish. A combination of traditional and modern methods can save at least a nursery or even the field itself by allowing the stocks to harden and if the water level is about 30 cm high. The availability of reeds to make these traps depends on how the people themselves have impacted on their dambo environment, while the same applies to forest resources.

                     Surely fish eats rice, but traditional craft can be a missing link to make a micro-project succeed, more especially when the IGAs is premised in a traditional environment at both soft and hardware levels.  Cultural practices are equally important in the totality of village development. The CEO does not need to walk on her head to remind people of what they already know. The advantage being that both gender have a method of their specialty. But the result can be Gohan and Sakana in the same dish.

Maketo Mubyana (POR-HQ Staff),

studying in Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan





 A New Method for tasty Mangos (Quoted from vol.3 of Weekly Progress)


Do you know top working for improving local Mango?

Mr. Narabu (Expert on Farming Technology)


Most farmers in Zambia grow local varieties with low yields of fibrous fruits that are sold at low price in the market. These local varieties can be improved through top working using improved varieties. Changing a mature mango variety through grafting is called top working. Some of the mango varieties that can be used for top working include Tommy Atkins, Keitt and Kent. They are more marketable than the local varieties.

Benefits of top working

Top working involves pruning and cutting branches of trees not beyond 15 years old to bring them to a manageable height and revive their production potential. It has the following benefits:

- Mature plants producing inferior quality fruits can be made to produce high quality fruits.
- Improved varieties can be introduced into farms of those already having fairly old orchards without destroying the old trees.
- These trees bring out many shoots, which can be grafted to produce many fruits in two to three years.
- Many varieties can be grafted on a single tree at any one time.

Steps of top working
- Remove branches, except a few vigorously growing ones, which are left to supply food to the rest of the tree.
- New shoots/branches develop and grow.
- Allow new branches to sprout
- Remove new branches leaving 2-4 strong and healthy looking, suitable for grafting.
- Get grafting materials from varieties of your choice and graft them onto the branches that remained.
- The cycle can be repeated until all the existing branches on the tree needing improvement have been replaced with the new varieties.


Lets enjoy the taste of improved mangoes right here in Zambia!

inserted by FC2 system