Published: Friday 31 May 1996

The country's remote north-western province could serve as a model for Africa's poverty-ridden, famine-stricken areas. The province has been transformed from a food-deficit to a food-surplus area in the past 10 years. The soil in the province has a high acid content. Traditionally, people have grown cassava, maize, millet, sorghum and beans here. The change began in 1983 with the north-western province area development project. Under the project, small farmers in three districts Solewezi, Mwinilunga and Kasempa - were given credit and advised to plant improved varieties of maize. Now the province has been transformed "into a substantial maize producer", according to a recent evaluation by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome.

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