Press Releases

Policy brief on the Seed Sector: CSOs express concern on reforms around the seed sector

Caritas Zambia, PELUM Zambia hosted a meeting reflecting on national and regional seed law reforms. The meeting brought together different CSOs and farmers concerned on seed law reforms in the seed sector.

We acknowledge and appreciate Government's vision to promote diversification in the agriculture sector by promoting, among other measures, the use of improved crop varieties and certified seed. We also recognize and appreciate the existence of legislation to further support diversification such as the Plant Breeder's Right Act and Plant Variety and Seed Act No. 21 of 1995 which provides for regulation, control, production, sale and import of seed as well as testing and for minimum standards of germination and purity. Above all, we appreciate Government's recognition of the existence of the formal and informal seed sector.

However, we, Caritas and PELUM Zambia, together with the key stakeholders from the meeting are concerned about the limited focus on farmer rights and seed sovereignty. Seed sovereignty includes the farmer's rights to save, breed and exchange seeds, to have access to diverse traditional open-pollinated seeds which can be saved, replanted and which are not genetically modified, owned or controlled by emerging seed giants. Seed sovereignty recognises the importance of Farmer Saved Seed Systems (FSSS) which is essential for food security at the household level as the commercialised seed is mainly accessible to those farmers with some disposable income and is able to purchase them. This creates a gap in boosting food security for most rural households .

Besides displacing and destroying diversity, commercialised seed varieties are also undermining seed sovereignty and farmers rights. Furthermore, the multinational capture of local seed companies is a process that has long been underway in most parts of Africa and is marginalising the local seed companies which in most cases promote the open-pollinated seed varieties. Across Africa, new seed laws are being introduced which enforce compulsory registration of seeds with a bias towards Distinct Uniform Stable (DUS) which the traditional seed varieties do not conform to, thus making it impossible for small-scale farmers to grow their own diverse traditional seed as seed but rather grain , and forcing them into dependency on the giant seed corporations which mainly grow hybrid seed which cannot be recycled and depends heavily on synthetic chemical fertilisers and pesticides not friendly to the environment.

Therefore, in view of the above concern s and in the context of our quest for socio-economic and environmental justice, we the CSOs make the following resolutions:

Awareness rising: We appeal to relevant institutions such as Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) to exercise their mandate of providing information to the general public, farming community and those affected by the changes taking place within the seed sector in Zambia. We urge the government to dialogue with various stakeholders including farmers in all issues related to seed reforms and implementation. We stand in solidarity with the farmers by sharing information and capacity building and education to make them more informed, empower ed to make the right decisions on issues that affect them such as seed law reforms. We envisage a seed sector that emphases and respects the role played by women who have been custodians of seed and biodiversity conservationist in African traditional society .

National seed policy; with the introduction of a number of reforms and protocols at regional level. We appeal to the government to consider finalising the draft national policy of 1999 which would regulate the sector. We hope to see a decentralised consultative process to this process and the effective recognition of farmer’s rights and the support of farmer managed seed systems which are to be supported by policy to reduce restrictions during trade, as currently trade can’t go beyond achieving economic benefits. Further, there is a need for the development of regulations that protect our diverse genetic resource and traditional knowledge and ensure that the benefit-sharing System is inclusive and implemented .

Lobby for space in all consultative processes: There is a need for a formal platform to be created that will allow for effective CSO and farmer participation in policy formulation and decision making to ensure that farmer ' voices are heard. We request for space at all levels horizontally and vertically by a more diverse CSO that will allow for more and effective CSO representation and participation. Consultative engagements and representation of key stakeholders is key in achieving seed sovereignty, and this responsibility lies with national governments who should ensure that the rights of the farmers are recognised and protected in national policies and legislation for the sake of national building and social and economic development.

The entire Policy brief on the Seed Sector can be found and downloaded here

Press Statement by the Three Church Mother Bodies on National Dialogue and Reconciliation


We the leaders of the three Church Mother Bodies in Zambia, namely: the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), greet you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we embark on this difficult journey of leading the entire nation into a process of national dialogue and reconciliation, we are compelled by the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14) to speak to you on critical matters relating to the preparation and management of the much talked about national dialogue and reconciliation process in our country. For us, every effort that promotes a non-violent method of transforming conflicts such as dialogue is a moment of grace and an opportunity for self-appraisal as a nation and a call for the conversion of hearts.

Republic of Zambia Financial Intelligence Centre Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing Trends Report 2017


The Financial Intelligence Centre (the Centre) strengthened its operational capabilities and stakeholder outreach in 2017, with special focus given to private sector entities exposed to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) risks. The Centre also continued to support law enforcement and national security partners in our shared objective of protecting the Zambian community from crimes associated with money laundering and terrorism financing.

In 2017, the Centre also took on the role of “Supervisor of Last Resort” for reporting entities that presently do not have a clearly laid down legal framework for monitoring and regulating their responsibilities for reporting ML/TF activities, such as: Casinos, Motor Vehicle Dealers and Real Estate Agencies. This followed the amendment of the Financial Intelligence Act No. 4 of 2016. Another significant development was the incorporation by the Centre of a number of recommendations of the National Risk Assessment on ML/TF conducted in 2016.

First Edition of the Caritas Zambia Bulletin

Editor’s Note

I am delighted to introduce this first edition of the Caritas Zambia bulletin, a publication that keeps you in touch with news and developments which relate to Caritas Zambia and its work. This particular edition is an exciting one for us as it brings a new dawn in that 2018 marks the beginning of our new strategic plan for the next five (5) years.

Caritas Zambia acknowledges the crucial role of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops, who support its work and ensure the success of all its focus areas. 2018 is a special year for Caritas Zambia as it marks the beginning of a new strategic plan (2018 – 2022). The Caritas Zambia strategic plan, through the support of the Conference and the participation of our diocesan partners, was developed in line with the Vision and Mission of the Conference. As we begin this year and this new Strategic Plan, Caritas Zambia is focusing on issues that are not only relevant at the National level, but also at the local community level.

Picture Courtesy of World Vision International

Expression of Interest: Study on ending Child Marriages in Zambia


23rd May 2018


Caritas Zambia is a faith based non - profit making organization dedicated to the strengthening of the voice of the Church in promoting democracy and governance, rule of law, and social economic and cultural rights in Zambia. At the same time, the organisation promotes sustainable agriculture for small-scale farmers through organic farming and agroecological strategies.

CARITAS Zambia Statement on the Need for Genuine and Inclusive National Dialogue

1.0. Status of the National Dialogue

Caritas Zambia is concerned that there is confusion concerning the much talked about national dialogue since the involvement of ZCID in the equation. While the nation was anxiously waiting for the beginning of talks as organized and arranged by the Commonwealth, another process was being propped up and spearheaded by ZCID. Suddenly we were told that Zambians don’t want talks to be led by “foreigners” but “our own organisation” in the name of ZCID. Caritas finds this argument strange, especially that when the Commonwealth came into Zambia to lobby for the release of the UPND President nobody called them “foreigners”. After all, Zambia is a bonafide member of the Commonwealth. When Professor Gambari began preparing for a road map for this dialogue, he met all the key stakeholders and requested for the formation of a steering committee composed of key representatives from UPND, PF, CSOs and the Church mother bodies. We wonder what has happened to this process. Why is there now, a pull between those who support the Commonwealth led process and those who support the ZCID led process?

Report on the seed sector in Zambia - Overview on the political, social and economic aspects

Zambia's maize seed industry is currently one of the strongest and most competitive in Sub- Sahara Africa. The seed sector in Zambia is highly pluralistic and divided into the formal and informal sector. The informal sector is mainly comprised of farmer managed seed systems (FMSS) and some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that seek to promote the sector. In this system, farmers are free to share and exchange their seeds for both monetary and none monetary items such as food items or labor. Furthermore, the informal seed sector represents a rich cultural heritage of Africa's local communities. However the push to transform the seed sector into income-generating commercialized entity owned by a few and to marginalize traditional seed varieties, is still making more headway on paper than in practice.

The other side is the formal sector which is monopolized mainly by foreign multinational companies. These seed companies have different stakes in the seed sector with some having more influence on policies and legislation governing the seed sector in comparison to that exerted by the informal sector. Most of these companies are foreign-owned and do not serve the interests of the local seed industry but focus more on corporate profits. The interests of these companies are neither farmer-based seed systems nor do they support farmers' rights.

This study aims to analyze the political and socioeconomic dynamics of the seed sector in Zambia and to give an overview of the legal frameworks, key actors and policies in the sector. It unpacks the critical social, economic, and political issues that surround the seed sector in Zambia. Based on interviews with stakeholders, the major challenges are identified and strategic interventions in line with identified political and socioeconomic dynamics are proposed.



The identified strategic issues have been clustered around four main areas which also form the proposed programmes namely- Economic and Social Accountability, Democracy and Governance, Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation and Conflict transformation and Peace Building. In addition, there is a fifth programme which provides support to all the other four programmes and is called Organisational Development. The programmes highlight the changes that Caritas Zambia would like to see (impacts and outcomes) for the next five years starting 2018- 2022:

A Keynote Speech at the launch of the new Caritas Zambia Strategic Plan


On behalf of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), I wish to, first of all, thank each and everyone of you for making time to come and witness the official launch of the new Strategic Plan for Caritas Zambia. For us, this is a visible sign of your remarkable commitment and valuable support you have always rendered to the Church through Caritas Zambia. Despite being a public holiday, you have elected to come and once more demonstrate the fact that you are our all-weather friends and Strategic partners in the noble work of promoting integral human development by advocating for social justice and genuine peace in the Zambian Society. In so doing, you have enabled us to follow the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ who unveiled his Mission in the words of Prophet Isaiah: “The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour” (Luke 4:18-19).

In 2016, we launched the ZCCB strategic plan (2017-2026) which led to the rebranding from Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) to the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB). This was done to highlight the Catholic identity of the Bishops’ Conference. I am therefore pleased to note that at least many people are slowly but surely getting used to our new name, ZCCB rather than ZEC.

CARITAS ZAMBIA STRATEGIC PLAN (2018 - 2022) - Promoting integral Human Development in Zambia

Caritas Zambia would like to express its deepest appreciation to the many individuals and organisations that supported and helped to complete the development of this 2018 - 2022 Strategic Plan document.

In doing so, we express our indebtedness to Ms. Mpala Nkonkomalimba, the consultant who facilitated and guided the process of developing this plan and its theory of change from the initial stages to its completion. Her appropriate challenges for the staff to think strategically and call on our innovative capacity helped us to re-shape our focus and responses to the socioeconomic, political and cultural challenges that Zambia is facing at the moment.

About Caritas Zambia

Caritas Zambia is a Catholic Organisation that is an integral structure of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB). The Conference of Bishops is a permanent grouping of Bishops of a given nation or territory that jointly exercises certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of their territory. This is done for the sake of effective evangelisation. To promote the principle of the common good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programmes of the apostolate which are fittingly adapted to the circumstances of the time and place, is the role of Bishops.