Royal Livingstone by Anantara empowers Zambian women

The Anantara team has provided training for female farm workers in sustainable agriculture techniques

The Maramba Women’s Mushroom Farm grows mushrooms used by world-class chefs
The Maramba Women’s Mushroom Farm grows mushrooms used by world-class chefs

The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara’s recent initiatives incorporate smallholders into the hotel’s procurement process as part of its drive to empower local communities through sustainability projects, ensuring they get a share of the thriving tourism economy.

Zambia, home to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls, has seen tourism numbers climb steadily over the past years making it the country’s fastest-growing national economic sector.

Yet, while the more established businesses have been reaping the benefits, the smallholders are being pushed out. By launching a biweekly Smallholder Farmers’ Market at the hotel’s warehouse, The Royal Livingstone essentially cut out the middleman by guaranteeing to buy all of the crop directly from the smallholders, at a fair price.

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Zambia’s women farmers are no strangers to specialist produce. The Maramba Women’s Mushroom Farm grows mushrooms used by world-class chefs. The farm was saved from closure by investment from The Royal Livingstone Hotel. The farm’s reach extends beyond specialist agriculture, by providing education, medication and support services to residents. As a result of this initiative, 15 women are enabled to take care of 160 orphans, widows and vulnerable adults.

At Nsongwe Women’s Farm - an indigenous fruit farm that employs more than 3,000 people – the Anantara team has trained the farm workers in sustainable agriculture techniques. Historically, even though women did much of the field work, men managed the marketing and sales of produce, seldom giving women access to earnings from production. The members have been trained in financial management and marketing principles and now sell most of their produce to local hotels and resorts through long-term contracts that ensure sustainability. Anyone can plant a seed, but not everyone has the skills needed to build and run a successful farming business like the Nsongwe Women’s Farm.

Anantara Hotels & Resorts constantly reinforces its commitment towards environmental, social and cultural conservation. Special consideration is given to employing and empowering communities, and wherever possible, sustainable products and services are sourced locally. Around the world, Anantara Hotels & Resorts works in partnership with local communities and promote cultural awareness amongst guests by integrating indigenous culture into everyday experiences.

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