An impact assessment of the Community Market for conservation(COMACO)project on the welfare of small-scale farmers in Zambia's Chama District
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Valley areas in Zambia experience much higher levels of poverty as compared other rural areas. This can be partly attributed to the poor climatic conditions which make farming difficult in such areas. The Community Market for Conservation (COMACO) is a design under the Wild Life Conservation Society (WCS) which is aimed at improving the income and food security levels of people in the Luangwa valley. This design aims at trying to reduce human pressure on natural resources by reducing the poverty levels of the people in the Luangwa valley.COMACO gives alternative sources of income and food to the poor people of the Luangwa valley who are the perpetrators of most environmental degrading activities. This research was aimed at establishing the economic impact that COMACO is having on the project participants. A sample of 110 people in Chikwa area of Chama district was randomly selected and interviewed. This sample was made up of 43 members and 67 non-members. Income of the people in the area of the research was used as a proxy for economic welfare. The impact was measured through the use of the Quasi Experimental Design. The average income of the members of COMACO was used as the intervention variable and was compared to income of non-member which was used as the control variable. The impact (difference) was found to positive K798, 937 which showed that the members of COMACO had much higher annual income levels than non-members. But the membership in Chikwa area stands at 39%, meaning that less than half the population actually belong to COMACO. Considering the positive impact that the project is having on the people of the Luangwa valley, it is recommended that the COMACO design be replicated in other GMA's of the country. Furthermore, COMACO management should find means of increasing the membership from the current 39% in Chikwa to at least 50%.
University of Zambia
Student Project Report
- Agriculture