By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
On May 10th,2023, as Europe Day was being celebrated in Lusaka, the capital City of Zambia, Rwandan photographer Serrah Galos collaborated with the EU delegation in Zambia to organize a photo exhibition showcasing the daily lives of smallholder farmers in Southern Zambia who are facing the effects of climate change.
This event, which was held at the residence of the EU Ambassador in Zambia, was attended by various dignitaries, including the Zambian Minister of Agriculture, Honorable Reuben Mtolo Phiri, who was the guest of honor, as well as the EU Ambassador in Zambia, H.E. Jacek Jankowiski,11 Zambian Ministers, the Secretary General of COMESA, members of Zambia’s civil society, and the diplomatic community, among others.
The photo exhibition, titled “Happiness is in the Field,” was organized as part of the EU4MULIMI program. This program covers various EU-funded agriculture projects under the 92 million EUR Programme called “Support to the Sustainable Commercialisation of Zambia’s Smallholder Farmers.”
The objective of the Programme is to increase smallholder farmers’ input and productivity, income and employment opportunities, with the aim to reduce rural poverty and malnutrition, and to improve rural livelihoods by unlocking Green and inclusive growth in Agribusiness, Agroforestry and Aquaculture.
From this programme, “Happiness is in the field” exhibition featured photographs and stories of community members trained in Conservation Agriculture techniques and crop rotation techniques to improve their harvest while mitigating climate change challenges like severe drought.
During his remarks at the event, Rwandan Photographer Serrah Galos explained that the exhibition, which features a collection of 30 inspiring and colorful photographs, celebrates the courage and resilience of smallholder farmers in southern Zambia who are facing challenges brought on by climate change.
He said that “ Seeing the farmers who welcomed me in their homes, shared their stories with me and allowed me to photograph them present at the exhibition is the highlight of the exhibition.”
“It felt special to see their reactions.” He added.
Referring to the importance of ethical storytelling in development programs, Mr. Serrah Galos stated, “The community serves as the yardstick by which we can gauge the growth and progress of its members. Therefore, it is appropriate for them to be the ones to narrate their own stories.”
“I have been farming since 2010, mainly planting maize. However, when the cotton and sunflower project began, I received training on how to plant and manage cotton, sunflowers, and soybeans.” Says Even Mulomba, one of the beneficiaries of the Project.
“This new knowledge was incredibly valuable, as I learned that I could rotate different crops each season on the same land. I discovered that planting two different crops simultaneously can ensure a yield even if one crop doesn’t perform well.” She added.
After the welcome speech, the participants had the opportunity to visit the 30 selected photos and talk to some of the beneficiaries who appeared in the photos and participated in the exhibition.
It was also a great opportunity for Zambians and the EU delegation to learn more about the commitment of Farmers to improve their lives through increased yields.
Click the Arrow sign or slide the photos to appreciate the 30 stunning images that were displayed during the event
You can also enjoy the images taken at the Exhibition Event in Lusaka. Event Photos taken by: Terence Sampa Photography