1 February 2024

Farming cooperatives send a message of gratitude to Kagem

Kagem Mining’s donation of fertiliser to support local farming near the Lufwanyama-based emerald mine prompted a group of farmers to pen a note of thanks.


Kagem, majority-owned by Gemfields in a model partnership with the Zambian government, is believed to be the world’s single largest producing emerald mine. It currently supports seven farming cooperatives, comprising 194 members, and has spent some USD 218,800 on this to date. The mining group’s well-timed supply of fertiliser gave a welcome boost to the 2023/24 planting season.

The formal letter of appreciation to Kagem was jointly penned by members of the Twasanta Women, Tweende, Blessings/Chantete and Kapila Green Farmers cooperatives. Together, members of these associations praised the mining company’s timely intervention, saying: “Your support has helped us to alleviate poverty in our village communities and it has boosted us to increase our food security and livelihood to all chiefdoms… [and] contributed to the fight against malnutrition in most households in the community.”

Kagem sees the farming cooperatives as a key element in creating sustainable and alternative livelihoods for communities in Lufwanyama and of ensuring that food security and nutrition remain high priorities. Farming has been proven to transform communities in this area by tackling the issues of unemployment, illegal mining and poverty and providing a way to both make a living and ensure a healthy food supply.

As well as supporting the farming communities through the donation of inputs, Kagem also provides training and serves as a ready market for its produce – buying everything from horticultural crops and maize to chickens from the local cooperatives. Training efforts have been conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, focusing on best practices in farming methods, livestock management, and other technical skills, with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock also offering veterinary services.

Going forward, Kagem also intends to support organic farming as a more sustainable agricultural practice given that some farmers are already implementing practices such as crop rotation and using organic waste fertilisers. The mining group also hopes to expand the capacity of the farming cooperatives, to help a greater number to make a living from the land.

“The composition of cooperatives varies from community to community, and we see capacity building as one of the key tools in ensuring the sustainability and growth of Lufwanyama’s cooperatives and farming communities,” said Kagem’s General Manager Adriaan Prinsloo.