Through its Zambia Country Strategic Plan 2019-2024, WFP intends to support the government to strengthen its capacity in addressing the root causes of malnutrition, build resilience, and strengthen social protection programmes. WFP Zambia aims to address malnutrition in the country by supporting the Government in pursuing national nutrition priorities by mainstreaming actions that promote good nutrition as well as support smallholder farmers to diversify crop production from maize, by focusing on nutrient-dense, climate-resistant crops, through access to finance, climate-services, post-harvest losses management and market access. Importantly, in the new CSP, WFP will seek to strengthen capacity of government to design and implement sustainable national home-grown school meals (HGSM), which is the largest social safety net in the country, in order to improve access to nutritious food and other basic needs for schoolchildren.
WFP Zambia pursues a variety of innovative approaches to support the country’s food security and nutrition needs. Hydroponics is one such technology, as an agricultural system using nutrient-laden water in lieu of soil. The benefits are multifaceted as a climate-smart, cost-efficient approach – including the possibility to cultivate agricultural produce in limited space, requiring limited resources (water, fertilizer, and labor included), the ability to grow produce regardless of climate, and the ease in finding cost-efficient and economical materials for systems. Hydroponics is expected to have a particular impact for schools, as it allows for diversification of school meals beyond the standard food basket of maize, through the introduction of fresh vegetables grown on site, at low cost, and limited water and space required. The learning-by-doing method leading to the adoption of cost-efficient and sustainable ways of growing vegetables are expected to have a multiplier effect on the communities, as suppliers are expected to explore this model to further increase household income and improve household food security.
Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Strategic Outcome Manager, the incumbent will play a key role in supporting government particularly Ministry of General Education, and other partners to establish and manage hydroponic units for the production of high value crops and vegetables. The consultant will also support in facilitating trainings for WFP, government and smallholder farmers on the management of the hydroponics units and market access.
Key roles and responsibilities for this position will include transfer of knowledge and skills to Government officials and Smallholder Farmers to own and manage horticulture initiative that uses hydroponics technology. Specific roles also include: