By Bennie Mundando
MUSIKA has flagged off a US$ 78,000 Community Social Responsibility (CSR) response to the COVID-19 pandemic fund targeting agribusinesses operating in rural farming communities across the country.
The CSR response is part of the organization’s contribution towards efforts being made by Government to contain the spread of the disease while allowing key areas of the economy, including the agriculture sector, to continue to function.
With funding from its donors; The Embassy of Sweden in Lusaka, NORAD, Irish Aid, and World Fish, Musika will distribute 570 foot operated handwashing equipment, 49 motorised sprayers, alcohol based hand sanitizer, chlorine, liquid hand soap, and posters translated into six local languages to raise awareness on COVID-19.
Musika Managing Director, Reuben Banda says the CSR response will ensure that production and productivity of farmers is enhanced during the current marketing season, and help to address COVID-19 related issues (or indirect effects) in the value chain that may have negative consequences for the coming farming season.
Mr. Banda says working in collaboration with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock, Musika will assign these materials to specific agro dealers operating at community level, while others will be placed in strategic public places where farmers and agribusiness converge to do business including crop, livestock and fish marketing points, Abattoirs, Livestock Service Centers, aggregation centres, boarder areas, and selected toll gates.
“We are grateful to the three ministries for working with Musika in implementing a well-coordinated response to COVID-19 which will help to heighten health and safety measures by agro dealers as they continue to provide the necessary agricultural products and services within rural farming communities while strictly observing health guidelines such as regular handwashing, social distancing and masking up,” Mr. Banda said.
He says as a Zambian not-for-profit organisation working to stimulate and support private investment in the smallholder farming areas, Musika has implemented various development interventions through partnerships with over 80 private sector companies across the country.
He says as a result, Musika has facilitated the establishment of over 2,500 new micro, small and medium sized ‘intermediaries’ that form part of a ‘last mile’ distribution network delivering products, services and extension information at the farmer’s doorstep.
“Without this level of support towards the preparedness of these intermediaries who include stockists, agro dealers, small traders, vet service providers, aggregators, out-grower schemes, all the gains achieved over the years in serving the rural areas could easily be reversed by the COVID-19 challenge,” added Banda.
Notes for Editors
Musika is a Zambian non-profit company which started its operations in 2011 and currently receives funding support from the Swedish Embassy in Lusaka, Norwegian Government’s NORAD, Irish Aid and WorldFish to stimulate and support private investment in the agricultural market, with a particular focus on the smallholder and emerging farmer sectors.
Musika works across the country and in all aspects of the agricultural sector, providing advisory services and business support to agribusinesses that are committed to engaging smallholder and emergent farmers in strong and mutually beneficial commercial relationships as their clients, suppliers and customers. It’s approach to reducing poverty and creating wealth in rural Zambia involves stimulating business relationships between the corporate sector and smallholder farmers that provide not just market opportunities but also the knowledge and confidence for farmers to invest in and grow their businesses.
Pamela Hamasaka – Head of Corporate Affairs
+260 211 251371 / 0977475323