The year 2020 has been quiet unproductive for many firms, institutions and businesses around the globe. With the coming in of Covid19, businesses and a number of major events were shut down while others cancelled. In Zambia, the spread of Covid19 led to the cancellation of the 2020 AgriTech Expo as well as the Farmers’ Agricultural and Commercial show which usually takes place in the months of April and August, respectively. Apart from the cancellation of such events, a good number of institutions including agricultural institutions slowed down operations in the quest to adhere to the set Covid19 measures.

However, when the situation began to slowly normalise in what was termed as the ‘’new normal’’, the president of the republic of Zambia H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu declared some institutions, businesses and events open for operation, while holding on to the set Covid19 guidelines.

Following this declaration, the Golden Valley Agriculture Research Trust (GART) thought of organising a National Seed Fair event which is an annual event hosted by GART and its partners. GART is one of Zambia’s agriculture research institution and AKTC’s cooperation partner and host. The event which took place on the 15th of October 2020 at GART premises in Chisamba district was co-organised by other agricultural institutions such as the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU), the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI), the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) including the Zambian-German Agricultural Knowledge and Training Centre (AKTC). Other exhibitors for the event included seed, fertiliser, and chemical companies such as ADVANTA, AFRISEED, AMIRAN, ATS/K, BASF, BAYER, E-SLIP, ETG, NETAFIM, OMNIA, SEEDCO, SYNGENTA etc.

The event was officially opened by the central province permanent secretary Mr. Bernard Chomba. Amongst his delegation was the Chibombo and Chisamba district commissioners Mrs. Catherine Chilonda and Mr. Godfrey Kangwa, respectively. A total of 1,075 farmers attended this year’s seed fair event and out of this figure, 701 were male and 374 females.

For AKTC, the event was an opportunity to showcase the first research results of the Climate Adapted Farming Methods (CAFM) project. The display of the CAFM research results indicated the comparison among the three different tillage methods (i.e. discing, ripping and direct seeding) in terms of time and fuel consumption as well as yield performance.

Central Province PS Mr Bernard Chomba

Mr. Willis Mhlanga, the CAFM project coordinator took some time to explain to the farmers cardinal information about the three different tillage methods with regards to climate change. The German University of Hohenheim in cooperation with the University of Zambia is in charge of the CAFM research at AKTC. PhD Student Godfrey Omulo from Hohenheim works on the economical and ecological viability of Mechanized Conservation Agriculture (MCA). AKTC is the opinion, if the monetary advantages of MCA are proofen scientificly, the adoption rate by farmers of climate smart agriculture will improve. AKTC is looking forward to repeat the trials of 2019/20 as well during the 2020/21 season. The 2019/20 season research cleary stated, that MCA has economical advantages for soya and maize compared to conventional tillage methods.

Apart from the CAFM result display, AKTC also showcased to the farmers the implements that were suitably used in the CAFM project. The machinery display included 2x 60hp and 2x 45hp tractors. Im

Picture 4: CAMF Project Coordinator, Willis Mhlanga talking to explaining the farmers about CAFM research results

plements such as the planter, ripper and the boom sprayer were also displayed for farmers to interact with. A planting demonstration using a no-till planter was also carried out for the farmers’ interest.

Picture 3: AKTC Team Leader, Helmut Anschuetz the CAFM research results






While at the stand, AKTC sold the Tractor Maintenance Handbook (a practical guide to tractor technology and on-farm tractor maintenance) to interested farmers. This practical guide was developed at AKTC by Jan Thoelen, a PhD candidate from the University of Hohenheim in Germany. Jan developed the handbook after completion of his research study which focused on mechanisation in Zambia


Picture In a nutshell, the 2020 Gart National Seed Fair, though5: AKTC Team Leader talking to the guest of honour (Mr. Bernard Chomba and his entourag organised in difficult times of the COVID 19,e) at the AKTC stand. was a

In a nutshell, the 2020 Gart National Seed Fair, though organised in difficult times of the COVID 19, was a success to both the organisers and the farmers. As AKTC, we hope that the farmers who visited our stand learnt a few things concerning climate change and how we need to adapt to it in order to meet the food demand world over. We further hope that the farmers and other participants learnt something new from other exhibitors of the fair because we believe that the farmer is at the centre for hosting such events.

The flyer of the first season research results on Mechanized Conservation Agriculture (MCA) and the AKTC CAFM brochure can be downloaded from the website