The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and MUSIKA, a non-profit company focused on stimulating private investment in the Zambian agricultural market, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The aim of the agreement is to improve the performance and competitiveness of Micro Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs), through the provision of various Business Development Support Services, with a particular focus on on women and the youth.
ZDA will collaborate with Musika on joint awareness and sensitization programs pertaining to the private sector’s role in women and youth empowerment and agricultural development.
ZDA will also provide and facilitate a conducive environment for private market actors in mainstreaming gender and ensuring access to and benefit from agricultural related products and services for women and youth.
ZDA will also monitor the activities of MSMEs, provide business development support services, and collaborate in developing a sustainable mentorship and coaching programme for MSMEs.
MUSIKA will on the other hand, determine its own corporate strategy in terms of market engagement and where appropriate, foster investments in facilitating the development of the lower end of the agricultural market to benefit smallholder farmers mainly women and youth.
The agricultural development organization will also offer technical assistance through its technical staff to ZDA on matters relating to women and youth smallholder farmers and private sector led agricultural markets.
Further, MUSIKA will provide where applicable, linkages between ZDA and private market actors in the agricultural sector and recommend MSMEs that require Business Development Support Services to ZDA, in order to improve the business acumen of the MSMEs.
The other obligation of MUSIKA will include cooperating with ZDA in conducting joint programs to facilitate Business Linkages for MSMEs which include among others access to markets, business finance and technology.
Musika will also collaborate with ZDA in developing a sustainable mentorship and coaching program for growth-oriented MSMEs.
Agriculture contributes about 19% to Zambia’s GDP and employs three-quarters of the population.
The Zambian agriculture sector comprises crops, livestock, and fisheries.