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Identifying local solutions in the Barotse Floodplain for sustainable agricultural development

To develop locally relevant strategies that improve food security, nutrition, and conservation, researchers employed a gendered ecosystem services approach in Zambia.

The Barotse Floodplain in Zambia is one of Africa’s largest wetlands, representing varied ecotypes and high biodiversity conservation value. However, the Lozi People who live in the region face an intense “hungry season” from November to January when accessibility to food is very limited. This means that year-round nutrition and food security are consistently top priorities.

Conventional intensive agriculture is not well-suited for the Barotse landscape. Over-expansion of agriculture would have cascading negative effects on local people, wildlife, downstream ecosystems, and economic sectors such as hydropower.

To help improve livelihoods through sustainable agricultural development and environmental protection, researchers from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT worked with Lozi communities to identify locally relevant strategies. They published some of their findings in a recent study in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.

 

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