ZAAB is a network organisation, coordinated by a national secretariat based in Lusaka. There are three membership categories: core organisational members, associate partners and individuals.
ZAAB organisational members reach a wide constituency through their own membership base and programme activities that are undertaken across the country. Much of the direct member work with farmers aims at facilitating training on agroecology and Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS), supporting farmer dialogues and broad information sharing and exchange. Other members work in public research and policy advocacy and have a long history of contribution to ecological and social justice in Zambia. ZAAB fills a niche gap with its focus on agroecology and food sovereignty. We work in collaboration to uphold good governance, facilitate information exchange across sectors, support networking and collective advocacy, research and training. ZAAB aims to build public awareness and advocacy from the ground up, enabling citizens to participate in governance processes and contribute to building a viable future for Zambia.
The Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity Conservation is a united network of concerned citizens, civil society groups and farmer based organisations, working together to strengthen the growing movement for agroecology and food sovereignty in Zambia
ZAAB was initiated in 2010 when a number of civil society and farmer focused organisations came together to defend Zambia’s threatened ‘NO GMO’ presidential declaration of 2002. The civil society alliance continued to operate as a united advocacy network and grew in membership and scope of interest. In 2017, the network organisation was formalised and shortened its name to ZAAB (Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity) in acknowledgment of our holistic existence and biodiversity as a living system, integral to all human life.
Today, ZAAB advocates for citizens’ rights to food sovereignty, embedded within an ecological and socially just Zambia. We support the adoption of agroecology as a holistic, citizenry solution to sustainably build Zambia’s food and farming systems and strengthen resilience against climate change.
ZAAB is concerned that our future is being threatened as economic benefits for a minority are consistently prioritised over and above basic human rights of the majority population and environmental sustainability. Zambia’s agro-food systems are increasingly industrialised, underpinned by the symbolic, so called ‘Green Revolution'. We witness the progressive privatization and control of land, seeds, forests, water, labour – as well as markets – and thus whole production and consumption systems.
Around the world, corporate agribusiness and food retail industries hold increasing market share, that strengthens their power to further control the functioning of the global agro-food system. Many African countries including Zambia, are being compelled to amend national legislation to facilitate increased export oriented trade and the market benefits of multinational corporations. In the process, agrobiodiversity and locally contextual, culturally appropriate nutritious food systems are devalued and destroyed, while inequality rises and communities are dislocated.
Agroecology has developed as a global alternative to industrial agriculture. The science of agroecology applies ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of production systems.
“Today agroecology has been taken up by rural social movements and progressive NGOs and academics, and is seen as a transformative science, practice and movement that is explicitly committed to a more just and sustainable future by reshaping power relations from farm to table” (Declaration: The role of agroecology on the future of agriculture and the food system. The Call from Brasilia, September 2017)
Position on GMOs and the Revised Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003
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Zambia must continue to uphold the highest biosafety standards
Zambia’s approach to biosafety since the development of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003 has been cautious and aimed at ensuring high standards of human, environmental and socio-economic well-being. We are alarmed that the biotech industry is eroding this approach in favour of promoting and protecting the interests of that industry. We reject this shift. Read more....
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Transforming the FISP to diversified agroecology practices in Pemba District, Southern Province, Zambia
The third in the series of four farmer exchange meetings in Zambia took place in July, in Pemba District, Southern Province. Through a partnership between the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB), Kanchomba Farming Institute (KFI) hosted the field visit and dialogue, together with Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC). The 58 participants included farmers and representatives from local organisations and the Department of Agriculture. This region’s generally hot, dry climate has been exacerbated by severe droughts […]
Transforming the Farm Input Support Programme (FISP) to diversified agroecology practices in Shibuyunji District, Central Province, Zambia
This is a second briefing paper to come out of farmer exchange events held in Zambia in May. The first exchange took place in Kalulushi District, Copperbelt Province, and you can find that briefing paper here. Then a second exchange was convened in Shibuyunji District, Central Province, where the objective was to continue sharing ideas on transitioning to a smallholder support system for diversified agroecological farming. In Zambia, food and farming systems have changed rapidly, and for the worse. Increasingly, farmers use chemicals and poisonous […]
Moving from the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) to Agroecology in the Kalulushi District, Copperbelt, Zambia
This briefing highlights key issues raised at a farmer exchange and learning event held in May 2019 in Kalulushi District, in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. The overall objective of the meeting was to share and exchange ideas on transitioning to a smallholder support system for diversified agroecological farming. Participants discussed the roles that farmers, government and other organisations can play, as well as how to involve youth. The Zambia College of Horticultural Training (ZCHT) Chapula, Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), Zambia Alliance for Agroecology […]
Securing equitable farmer support and the transition from the Farm Input Subsidy Programme in Zambia
We are pleased to share with you this discussion paper, co-published by the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB). In Zambia, as in many other African countries, decisions related to food production and consumption increasingly lie outside the control of those responsible and accountable for food and nutrition security at both household and national level. Farmer support is almost entirely directed at subsidising smallholder uptake of Green Revolution (GR) technologies, which is based on the flawed claim that if farmers can access […]