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HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health in Zambia by promoting maize and orange sweet potato that provide more vitamin A in the diet. We work with more than 30 partners drawn from government, business, and civil society.

HarvestPlus supports the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) to breed, test, and release varieties of vitamin A maize developed through our partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Maize is the primary staple food in Zambia. Consumers like the color, taste, and aroma of foods made from vitamin A maize as much as white maize. With added information on the benefits of vitamin A, they prefer it to white maize. 

  Released vitamin A maize varieties are licensed to private seed companies to produce seed for sale to farmers. This commercial seed is distributed through agrodealer networks, NGOs, and the government-sponsored Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) targeting vulnerable smallholder farmers. We support commercial seed and grain sales, identify and link buyers and processors to grain suppliers, and increase awareness of vitamin A maize through consumer education, advertising, and the media. These efforts are complemented by the Zambia Biofortified Maize AgResults Pilot initiative, which supports the rollout of vitamin A maize by providing incentives aimed at industrial millers.

Sweet potato is also an important food in Zambia. We are part of a program led by the International Potato Center to promote vitamin A orange sweet potato.

Cassava is the second most important staple food crop after maize in Zambia and is being field tested in cassava-consuming communities that include Luapula, Western, North-Western, and Northern provinces.

“I tasted vitamin A orange maize at the launch of the USAID Feed the Future program. I found it tastier than our usual white maize. This is the chance for Zambia to start moving out of white maize and adopt a more nutritious and tastier orange maize.”
— Mr. Chance Kabaghe, Former Deputy Minister of Agriculture & CEO of Food Reserve Agency

Country Contacts

Eliab Simpungwe, HarvestPlus Country Manager-Zambia,

c/o CIAT, P.O. Box 51289,

11 Chaholi Road, Rhodes Park, Lusaka

Phone:+260 211 253052




• Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
• International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
• International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
• International Potato Centre
• WorldFish

• Civil Society Organisation on Scaling Up Nutrition (CSO-SUN)
• Development Aid From People to People (DAPP)
• Government Ministries: Agriculture, Education, Health
• Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI)
• Kamano Seed
• Land O’Lakes

• National Food and Nutrition Commission
• National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research
• Peace Corps
• ProfitPlus
• Programme Against Malnutrition
• SeedCo
• Star Milling
• Tropical Disease Research Center
• University of Zambia
• World Vision
• Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)
• Zambia Seed Traders Association (ZASTA)
• ZamSeed 

• Iowa State University
• Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
• Michigan State University
• Micronutrient Malnutrition Taskforce
• Purdue University • SEED Solutions, SEED Infotech Ltd.
• University of California, Davis
• University of Wisconsin-Madison
• World Food Programme