Agriculture/Fisheries & Livestock

The province’s agriculture sector is predominantly small scale and mainly carried out for subsistence purposes. Since the Province falls under ecological region II and III, it has good climatic conditions hence having sufficient rainfall. The province also has good soils for good crop production. Small Scale Farmers in the province are involved mainly in maize growing which is a staple crop in the country. Other crops grown include rice, cassava, millet, sorghum, beans, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkins etc. Commercial farming is not well established but efforts are being made to accelerate the growth of the sector. Some of the efforts by government include opening up of areas for farming blocks, these include Manshya, Mupamadzi, and Kanchibiya.

Palm oil

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Zampalm is the first ever palm plantation in Zambia. The plantation boast of 3,300 hectares of palm plants, the harvest produces crude palm oil that is the basic ingredient in most vegetable oils on the markets in Zambia. Currently, harvest of palm oil is done from 1,200 hectares of palm plants, the crude palm oil that is harvested is sold locally. The locally produced palm oil enables government to cut back on crude palm oil imports which currently stand at over $70 million annually.

Palm oil is the world’s most used vegetable oil and has many different uses in addition to cooking oil. Palm oil and its derivatives are found in foods such as margarines and ice cream, used as a thickener, preservative and antioxidant; as well as in personal care products such as shampoo, and cosmetics; industrial products such as lubricants paints and inks; and as a renewable fuel.The Zampalm project was launched in 2009 and currently has over 370,900 palms planted over an area of 3,300 hectares in the main plantation, with another 39,000 seedlings in the main and pre-nursery. Zampalm owns 20,238 hectares of titled land, and the intention is to plant a total of 4,812 hectares in 2020 and similar areas in subsequent years as the business grows. A 2-tonnes-per-hour crushing mill was built, a second 2-tonne plant in 2017 was built and a further 10-tonne plant in the following year, taking crude palm oil production up to 17,000 tonnes a year. The success of the project has resulted in improvement in social amenities such as accommodation, water and power on the plantation and surrounding areas. Over the three years of its existence in the area, Zampalm has employed local people in its nursery, plantation and workshop. There are currently 120 permanent employees and 400 seasonal workers. The number of workers is rising as the harvest increases.

Sericulture Farming

Chikwanda chiefdom trust has partnered with Wonderful Group of Companies to set up silk cultivation and production farm on a 5,000 hectors of land in Mutamba area of Chief Chikwanda. The project is expected to employ over 2,000 workers. The company has also diversified into other crop so that the land without mulberry plants is not left idle.

Crop Production

The province has a conducive and favorable climate for growing various crops. The major crops grown include maize, rice, groundnuts, finger millet, mixed beans, cassava, and sweet potatoes. The main crop grown is maize. However, the production of other crops is still low but potential for increased production exists. 

Zambia in general and Muchinga Province in particular, is blessed with a variety of fruits and vegetables, indigenous and exotic, cultivated and in the wild. Some common fruits found in the Province include mangoes, guavas, paw paws, apricots, bananas and in the wild, Masuku, Mpundu, etc. Vegetables include cabbage, rape, tomatoes and indigenous ones include pumpkin leaves (Chibwabwa), cassava leaves (Katapa), sweet potato leaves (Kalembula) and bean leaves (Chimpapila).

However, most of the mentioned fruits and vegetables grow seasonally despite the fact that there is great potential to cultivate them all year round as water is available for irrigation as indicated in earlier chapters. Seasonal as they may be, fruits such as mangoes go rotting as there are no storage and processing facilities in the Province. However, traders from other parts of the country flock in to take everything away at the expense of the local people who usually carry out small-time informal trading on the local market.

The chart below shows some crops that can be of great investment potential for commercial  production.

Irish Potatoes Production

Muchinga Province has a great potential to expand the production of Irish potatoes in Lavushimanda district because of favorable weather condition and suitable soils (sandy loam). The crop is grown throughout the year both under irrigation and rain fed. Most of the crop is sold locally but also Mpika Copper belt and Lusaka are the beneficiaries of the potatoes produced in Lavushimanda district. Currently the district produces more than 700 metric tons of Irish Potatoes each year and more than 200 hectares’ of land is dedicated to the production of the tubers.

Arable land for Agriculture, Resettlement and Farm Block Development

In order to open up the province for agriculture and other development, the province has 256, 294 hectares of land in a number of Resettlement Schemes in all the districts as well as one big farm block, which is shared by Mpika and Shiwang’andu Districts.

The province will continue securing pieces of land for resettlement development including provision of basic services in these resettlement areas. The table below illustrates secured hectares of land in the various districts of the Province.

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Secured Land for Commercial Agriculture

Picture Source - THE FURROW

e major project, which is being promoted in the province, is the establishment of the 113,000 ha Manshya Farm Block. Thus far, farm block mapping and social economic survey has been done. A total of 6,000 ha has since been demarcated into various farm sizes and 5,000 Ha offered to Mushe Milling as core-venture.


Ruminant livestock numbers in Zambia in the traditional sector comprise 2.7 million cattle, 700 000 goats and 70 000 sheep. These figures represent 82, 97 and 64% of the national cattle, goats and sheep respectively. Despite these large numbers, their productivity is very low and hence the livestock production sub-sector is not expanding at a sufficient rate to meet the needs of each household and increasing population. The demand for animal products in Zambia and Muchinga province in particular is constantly out stripping the production and supply.

Muchinga Province has therefore, the potential for the Livestock sector to grow due to favourable climatic conditions such as grazing land and water bodies.



The presence of a government owned Mbesuma Livestock Breeding Centre for cattle in Chinsali District and  Luchembe goat and Sheep breeding centre in Mpika District offers immense opportunity to grow the livestock sub-sector in the province.


Muchinga Province has numerous rivers and wetlands. These water sources can be harnessed for establishing fish dams and fish ponds for fish production. The Province also boasts of large water bodies such as Chambeshi river and lake Bangweulu where most fishing are practiced.

The main water bodies are known for various indigenous fish species that are locally consumed by the people from the province and at times traded in Luapula and Northen province normally with the neighbouring districts of the aforementioned provinces. The fish species consumed from these water bodies are: Barbus lornae, Barbus owenae, Coptostomabarbus bellcrossi, Bangweulu or Rosenstock’s Killifish (Nothobranchius rosenstocki) and Petrocephalus frieli).

It is important mention that most of these fish are is fished at a small-scale level before they are sold to marketers, who then sell to the rest of the population. Never the less, over the last decade the province has experienced significate growth in the fisheries sector, thanks to various government projects and programs; the province has observed that more individuals and cooperatives are practicing fish farming, using fish cages and constructing ponds; therefore, contributing to the sums of fish harvested by means of capture from the natural water bodies.

Statistics shows that Zambia has a deficit in the current supply of fish with demand standing at about 160, 000 metric tonnes, far outstripping the supply at about 120, 000 metric tonnes. This deficit makes Zambia and Muchinga Province in particular ideal for investment in the Fisheries subsector.

Major Investment Opportunities in the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries SubSectors

  • Establishment of big commercial farms for production of different crops
  • Establishment of Milling Plants
  • Establishment of Stock Feed Milling Plants
  • Establishment of storage sheds for dry agro products
  • Establishment of cold storage warehouses for fresh agro products
  • Establishment of agro product Haulage and Transportations
  • Coffee Production and Processing, agro-input supply for out-grower schemes or micro-financing to small scale coffee producers and marketing
  • Sugarcane production, processing, utilization of sugarcane by-products, agro-input supply for out-grower schemes, micro-financing to small-scale sugarcane producers and marketing
  • Rice production (both rain fed and irrigated), processing, utilization of rice by-products, agro input supply for out-grower schemes, micro-financing to small scale rice producers and marketing
  • Fruits and vegetables production, storage, processing, canning and manufacturing of various beverages
  • Domestication of indigenous fruit trees and wild vegetables, transportation, agro-input supply for out-grower schemes or micro-financing to small-scale
  • Commercial Goats, Sheep and Pig Farming
  • Cattle Ranching and dairying, processing, cold chain, manufacturing and canning of various cattle products, utilization of cattle by-products, micro-financing to small-scale beef/dairy farmers and marketing.
  • Setting up of leather tanneries
  • Manufacturing of leather goods and products for export market
  • Large, medium and small commercial poultry and egg production
  • Urea-molasses brick manufacturing units
  • Setting up of private veterinary practice/mobile veterinary services
  • Canning of fish, integrated fish farming, fish cage farming, preservation, restocking and commercial fishing in natural water bodies, transportation and marketing and tropical fish export.
  • Breeding of Ornamental fish
  • Production of Fishmeal for production of animal feed
  • Setting up of fingerling production centers
  • Establishment of Abattoir and Agro-processing plants.


The province has a lot of timber tree species most of which are harvested and exported on the international market. Muchinga province has a number of commercial tree species such as Brachystegia boehmii, Pericopsis angolensis among others.

Exotic Timber Species: The Government through the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) Limited continued to expand commercial timber plantations in Shiwang’andu and Nakonde Districts.


Despite the great demand for forestry products, and its enormous potential in Province, forestry is far from being developed. It is a well-known fact that the demand for Mukwa, pine and eucalyptus in the building industry, power, communication industries, paper manufacturing, etc. is very high both on the local and export markets. In addition the recent past we have seen a rise in the demand for a tree species known as Pterocarpus chrysothrix (locally called ‘Mukula’), which is exported to Asian countries mainly China and Thailand. Forests also provide the habitat for bee-keeping, ranching and many others. Muchinga Province, with its large tracks of forest land that lies untapped, has the potential for any type of investment in this industry.

Major Investment Opportunities in the Forestry Sector

  • Establishment of forestry plantations, saw-mills, carpentry shops
  • Domestication of indigenous tree species suitable for lumbering contract building, utilization of timber by-products.
  • Establishment of timber processing plants
  • Establishment of Furniture Companies
  • Establishment of Plants for production of goods from Mukula tree species and other species.
  • Setting up out-grower schemes for honey and beeswax production