HarvestPlus contributes to Zambia’s nutrition and public health improvement through crop research, development and promoting vitamin A orange maize, Vitamin A orange sweet potatoes and the high iron and zinc beans through conventional breeding to provide more vitamin A and iron in the diet. We work with more than 60 partners drawn from government, seed companies, processors and civil society organizations dealing with agriculture and nutrition interventions. 

country Coordinator

Emely Mwale Banda


CIAT/ HarvestPlus, Millennium Village, Plot number 6953, Birdcage walk, Villa Number 51, LongAcres, Zambia

+260 97 9488448

Together with the host government (Ministry of Agriculture), CGIAR Centres and other partners, use  biofortification (a conventionally bred process) of staple food crops that are high in essential vitamins and minerals, are developed and used as additional interventions to supplementation and food fortification. 

As an agriculture crop-based intervention, released varieties are introduced and promoted for rural households to integrate in their farming systems for dietary diversification with better crops, improves and increases household food and nutrition security.

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

Biofortified Crops in Zambia*

Iron Bean

Year of First Release:
2020
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 1

Vitamin A Maize

Year of First Release:
2012
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 11

Vitamin A Orange Sweet Potato

Year of First Release:
2014
Number of Varieties Released
to Date: 8

*Includes varieties shown to meet HarvestPlus standards. Other varieties may be available in the country.

Varieties Released Database

This searchable database provides information on all biofortified crops variety releases by country.

Areas of Expertise

  1. Crop Development
  2. Seed Multiplication
  3. Seed Distribution
  4. Consumer Engagement
  5. Market Development
  6. Policy Engagement

Crop Development

The development and dissemination is consistently supported through partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and International Potato Centre (CIP). 

Seed Multiplication

Released varieties by the Seed Control and Certification Institute are supported commercially by the seed companies, Zambian Government ministries with MoA being the lead, and more than 30 processors.

Seed Distribution

HarvestPlus also supports commercial seed and grain sales, and connects buyers and
processors to farmers.

Consumer Engagement

HarvestPlus increases awareness of vitamin A maize and iron bean of biofortified crops through extension services to farmers, consumers and consistently in demonstration, promotion programs, advertising,
documentaries, expos using various media outreach. 

Market Development

The Zambian government has included biofortified crops in yearly Farmer Input Support Program (FISP), an input subsidized system, free of cost for vulnerable but viable farming households, enlisting vitamin A maize for Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and all SUN II Programs and ZNFNC promoting biofortified crops in their program areas.

Policy Engagement

Through advocacy conducted with national partners, we strengthen national ownership of
biofortification through effective integration into national nutrition and agricultural policies.


Biofortification news in Zambia

Growth of Zambia’s Shais Foods Brings Livelihood Boost to Thousands of Smallholder Farmers

HarvestPlus began its partnership with Shais Foods in 2016, helping the company introduce its signature vitamin A maize Full Pack Cereal Blend at national exhibitions, including a trade fair in Ndola, and an Agriculture Agritek exhibition in Chisamba and the Agriculture and commercial Show in Lusaka.   The product was a hit with consumers, prompting Shais […]

Schoolchildren in Zambia Embrace Nutritious Vitamin A Orange Maize

The campaign to get Zambian schools growing and feeding their students on vitamin A orange maize is gathering steam. HarvestPlus partnered with the Government of Zambia to launch the campaign last year. Several schools have already joined the campaign, including some that are participating in a competition to produce the biggest harvest of orange maize. […]

Zambian Extension Worker Sees the Benefits to Farmers of Government Support for Biofortification

As the 2019 HarvestPlus annual report makes clear, the global biofortification movement continues to expand, with more than 40 million people growing and eating these naturally nutritious staple food crops around the world.  In addition to the number of people reached, success is also measured by the adoption of relevant government policies – agriculture, nutrition, and health – […]

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HarvestPlus Partners

We have more than 50 partners in the public, private, NGO, and policy engagement sectors who share our mission to improve nutrition and lives of people in Zambia.

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Zambia Brochure

An overview of HarvestPlus activity in Zambia.

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