iDE Global


iDE supports Zambia’s small-scale farmers through agricultural advice, smart water management, and mobile technology solutions to increase market access and, ultimately, farm household incomes.

Why we’re here—

Over three-quarters of Zambia’s inhabitants are poor, and the country has one of the highest incidences of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, with many households having at least one member who is chronically ill. Geographical isolation and limited infrastructure are two factors precluding farmers’ access to markets. Government strategies are focused on driving diversified market-led growth, and many essential services, such as agricultural extensions and disease eradication campaigns, are under immense pressure due to lack of resources.

Peer-to-Peer Connections

Farm Business Advisor James Kaunda (right) chats with his client, Rodger Kabeyakabwebwe (left), after a tour of Rodger’s farm. Advisors are trusted peers who regularly visit their clients to help address problems.


(Photo by Chris Nicoletti/iDE)

What we do—

Created with sketchtool.

Resilient Market Ecosystems

For developing world entrepreneurs to succeed they must participate in market ecosystems that are economically competitive, inclusive of all people, and resilient to shocks such as conflict or changing climates. By listening to every stakeholder—producers, suppliers, retailers and customers—we can overcome critical bottlenecks and develop lasting solutions. 

Learn more about iDE’s approach to resilient market ecosystems.

Healing Markets

Market facilitation in Zambia

In Zambia, the major food crop and staple grown by small-scale farmers is maize. But maize doesn’t return enough profit for farmers to earn an adequate income. Zambia was a market in need of intervention.

Read more: Analyzing market weaknesses and addressing system failures to ensure connections for the poor

How We Do It —


iDE increases small-scale farmers’ incomes by using a market-based approach to promote manual well-drilling and household irrigation technologies. iDE collaborates with the Ethiopian government to connect farmers to agricultural extension services, technical support, and improved seed varieties. Additionally, iDE supports and encourages farmers to diversify into high-value commercial crops, livestock products, and other high-value agricultural commodities such as honey. These activities are changing Ethiopian farmers’ perception of farming, in that they begin viewing and practicing farming as a business, rather than as a way of life.

Learn more about iDE's commitment to Agriculture.

Resilience to Climate Change

The majority of Zambia’s farmers practice traditional agricultural techniques, relying on rain for crop production, and are thus more vulnerable to climatic variations and environmental disasters.

iDE helps people in rural areas build their resilience to climate extremes like floods and drought through the use of climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Smart Technologies.

Gender Equity

Women in Zambia lack access to land, finance, technologies, and information, and thus are unable to participate equally with men, even though they are largely responsible for farming and household activities.

By focusing on women as customers and entrepreneurs, iDE strengthens their participation in rural value chains and increases their access to technology, know-how, finance, and markets.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Gender Equity.


Malnutrition in Zambia is caused by a combination of factors, including illnesses (diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and HIV/AIDS), intestinal parasites, and poor infant and young child feeding practices due to lack of resources or knowledge by caretakers.

iDE empowers farm families to grow more varied and nutritious crops, so that people have a more complete diet, fueling them with the energy and mental ability they need to be successful

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Nutrition.

Designing to context

If you want to solve the world’s problems, you have to be where the action is—and every location is different.

Read more: Thinking outside of the tomato box in Zambia


37N Leopards Lane
PO Box 32341
Kabulonga, Lusaka

Our partners—

  • African Agriculture Fund
  • Barrick Lumwana Mining Corporation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Comic Relief
  • European Commission
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • FuturePump
  • Innocent Foundation
  • Ludwig & Miller Family Foundation
  • Mace Legacy
  • RLG International
  • Swedish International Development Agency
  • Syngenta Foundation
  • Techfortrade
  • Toro Foundation
  • United Nations Capital Development Fund
  • United Kingdom’s Department for International Development
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • Zylem