Smallholder Productivity Promotion Programme (S3P)

07 June 2023

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has carried out a project performance evaluation of the Smallholder Productivity Promotion Programme (S3P). The project was implemented in Zambia between 2011 and 2019.

The evaluation found that S3P made positive contributions to smallholders’ production and productivity for the crops targeted (cassava, rice, beans and groundnuts). However, the absence of sustained access to inputs and interventions promoting market orientation prevented the programme from achieving its full potential.

The report also noted that smallholders’ knowledge of conservation agriculture and other sustainable practices is high. Yet, adoption rates have remained low, possibly because a one-size-fits-all approach was applied, which appears to have hindered wider uptake. Tailoring such interventions to specific agro-ecological conditions is therefore critical.

The evaluation recommends, among other things, that IFAD integrate and support market orientation in production and productivity enhancement programmes. Greater attention should be paid to localized, context-specific application of sustainable agricultural practices through the adoption of a systems agronomy approach.

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