Whilst in Zambia, I have had the privilege of visiting and spending time with our local partner Alliance for Nutrition and Reconstruction (ANR) at their Lusaka office. ANR currently works in Choma, Zambia, where they are implementing programmes aimed at improving the livelihoods and food security in the local communities. ANR has been in operation for over 10 years. Their work is focused on facilitating small-scale development of processed food products (including wild mushrooms, dried bananas and mangoes), Bee Keeping, Oyster Mushroom growing and small livestock production at the village level.

Creation of a Reed Bee Hive from local materials by the community:

Creation of a Reed Bee Hive from local materials 1Creation of a Reed Bee Hive from local materials 2Creation of a Reed Bee Hive from local materials 3Creation of a Reed Bee Hive from local materials 5

To support the food processing activities that are being carried out by the local communities, ANR also provides clean Water through the provision of boreholes. This has benefited the wider communities where ANR operates by providing easier access to clean water and by reducing the distances previously covered by women and girls to fetch the clean water.

Women preparing Substrate for Oyster Mushroom growing

DfAD has applied for the Comic Relief Common Ground Initiative (CGI) Generating Ideas grant to assist ANR in enhancing the impact of their programmes.  If the grant is awarded, this will enable ANR to carry out a participatory feasibility study to assess the viability and potential of scaling up their current model of supporting the vulnerable rural households in increasing their incomes and food security.

ANR adding value

ANR’s current model of support involves Agro Food Processing activities which consist of local Self-Help Groups (SHGs), composed of women and men engaged in agriculture, who supply indigenous foods for processing and value addition. As ANR also has an Environmental Programme which promotes Natural Resources Management and Utilisation, the SHGs are sensitised to work in a way that conserves their natural environment.