FED Zambia: Food processors creating employment, boosting nutrition, and generating economic opportunities for women in Zambia

FED Zambia: Food processors creating employment, boosting nutrition, and generating economic opportunities for women in Zambia


 Food processing companies that mill flour, pasteurize dairy products, press cooking oils, and make other food products are vital to economic growth and nutrition. In Zambia, the estimated 1,500 food processors account for 60% of the country’s manufacturing output.

But many of these businesses are small and informal and face challenges with sourcing raw materials, manufacturing food products safely and efficiently, effectively marketing and distributing their goods, and accessing adequate financing. The pandemic has disrupted supply chains and heightened the challenges that food processors face, contributing to the food security challenges during COVID-19.


A more competitive food processing sector can help people up and down the supply chain. Potential benefits include the following prospective outcomes:

  1. Provide a stable market for smallholder farmers selling maize, milk, and other products
  2. Create employment opportunities for more workers
  3. Increase the supply of safe, affordable, and nutritious food to consumers, especially those living in vulnerable communities, boosting food security

Since many of the small food processing enterprises are female-owned, strengthening the sector will also help to generate economic opportunities for women in Zambia.

The Food Enterprises for a Developed Zambia (FED Zambia) program, a partnership between the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and TechnoServe, launched in March 2021 in order to make this vision a reality.

Economic opportunities for women, job creation, and better nutrition are just a few of the benefits the FED Zambia program will create


FED Zambia is working along through pillars to support the food processing sector:

  • Customized technical assistance for 100 small and medium-sized food processing businesses, helping them to tackle their most critical challenges and limitations
  • Sector-wide trainings designed to promote best practices within the broader food processing ecosystem
  • In-kind grants to help food processors acquire certification, access equipment, and build stronger market connections

The program also applies a gender lens to its work. Women will own at least half the business receiving customized technical assistance, make up 50% of the attendees of the sector-wide training, and receive the same share of the in-kind grants.

Expected Outcomes:

Over the program’s three years, it is expected that FED Zambia will help the 100 businesses receiving customized technical assistance increase their revenues between 25 and 40% and create 100 new jobs. The amount of certified, safe foods sold by these firms will also increase by 25%.