In the Simalaha Community Conservancy, the development of sustainable commercial agriculture is pivotal to improving the economic conditions of the local communities. In partnership with the community, Peace Parks Foundation has teamed up with Argentinean agronomist, Diego Cerrudo, to oversee the implementation of two new pilot projects which aim to create sustainable models of commercial horticulture and grain production.

Today, Simalaha’s Conservancy Assistant, Brian Mulomba, takes us with him to see how the construction of a greenhouse within the Sooka Community is taking shape. Developing infrastructures such as greenhouses and commercial farms form part of the agri-hub pilot project, a new approach to supporting farmers in rural communities. Already having been proven successful in different environments, the idea of the agri-hub is to group farmers to form a co-operative while providing them with all equipment, training, and access to markets.

These commercial agriculture projects were developed to address and overcome challenges that farmers in the area face, which include limited market access and farming materials as well as a lack of year-round water access and adequate training.

Situated within the Zambian component of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, Simalaha is a shining example of a community-led conservation approach that allows the local people to take control of their future. This has been done in many ways, such as the introduction of conservation agriculture, improved infrastructure, and the implementation of wells, to name a few, all of which have contributed immensely to employment, food security, and improved health and education.

Peace Parks Foundation is incredibly excited about the development of the new agri-hub projects, which will provide training, farming equipment, and infrastructure to the Simalaha Community Conservancy. With this support, farmers will now be able to grow different kinds of produce and have the knowledge of what to produce and when, to better meet consumer demands in the market.