COMACO publishes a quarterly newsletter to bring actual news stories from the farmer, the market, and our field staff to your attention, allowing you to read about the efforts being made to keep COMACO growing and responsive to the needs of small-scale farmers and conservation. Newsletters are published through a secure service that protects the autonomy of your email address. To request subscription, please submit your email address below:

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Unlocking Cooperatives’ Potential

COMACO believes farmer cooperatives if led properly can bring new meaning to rural development and conservation in Zambia.  Using a new, low-cost training approach to strengthen their leadership skills, it is beginning to happen.  The methodology involves local-language learning modules, consisting of 12-15 recorded lectures, uploaded onto MP3 Lifeline radio players that are solar powered. The lectures are played back …

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Veronica’s Cookstove Story

My name is Veronica Banda from Masumba village of Chief Mnkhanya’s area of  Mambwe district.   I want to tell my fellow women and the world how the COMACO Cookstove has changed my life. My life before the COMACO Cookstove was not easy.  My family and I used to walk distances of 4-5 kilometers to collect fuel wood for cooking. We …

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Gliricidia-based agroforestry hit new record

Over 60,000 small-scale farmers in the Luangwa Valley ecosystem have integrated Gliricidia sepium trees into their farming systems for the purpose of improving their soils and crop yields as well as offering a source of fuelwood. This has brought the total number of trees planted to over 83 million trees in about 41,500 hectares of land within the past four …

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Petauke Welcomes Newly Commissioned Farmer Support Center

Approaching Petauke town from Lusaka, you’ll see a beautiful, green building on the left side of Great East Road, the Petauke Farmer Support Center (FSC). With the help of the Norwegian Government, Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) recently completed this FSC to offer coordinated, targeted support to our extension staff and a growing farmer network in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley ecosystem. …

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Testimony of a COMACO Farmer

My name is Martha Daka. I am a widow living in Chithadza Village in Mpezeni Chiefdom. When my husband died in 2010 I was at a loss how to take care of my seven children. Four were in school and that first year it was not easy for me to support their education. My husband had left me a big …

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Peanut Butter against Poaching: A Model for Africa and beyond

Last week my friend and inspiration Dale Lewis received the prestigious ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017’ award from the Schwab Foundation in Durban, South Africa. Accompanied by the President of Zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Dale received the award from Hilde Schwab on behalf of his organization COMACO (Community Markets for Conservation), which he founded more than 15 years ago. …

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Farmer Uses Plastic Bottles to Irrigate Crops.

Mishiek Mwanza is a small scale vegetable grower of Lufu Village in Senior Chief Nzamane’s area in Chipata, eastern Zambia. Due to scarcity of land, his garden is situated on highland. Although there was good rain last season, he has already started to faces challenges in irrigating his crops. In the past, he would only grow vegetables up to May …

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COMACO Wins Accolades from Government and World Bank

“COMACO is a model worthy of country-wide replication in Zambia.” This accolade was made by the Minister of Finance, Felix Mutati when he accompanied the World Bank Vice-president for Africa, Mr. Makhtar Diop, on a verification visit to COMACO. “Conservation is key to economic development, and as Government we will take the COMACO concept to all parts of the country,” …

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Compost Gives Amputee Good Yields!

“This season, I am sure I have got more maize than some people who are not as physically handicapped as I am, thanks to COMACO,” says John Tembo of Ngilile Village in Chief Nyamphande’s area as he admires his big cobs of maize that are ready for harvest. Fifteen years ago, John was a healthy person who had a successful …

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Elephants, Peanut Butter, and Agroforestry – the Fundamentals of COMACO

Farmers need land, but so do elephants. In Luangwa Valley where farming and elephants collide, you are likely to encounter small-scale farmers who sustain their families on a piece of land not much bigger than an acre. Markets that offer good prices for their crops are often far away, and farmer organizations to enhance such market opportunities are rare. This …

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