Background: The study was undertaken due to high levels of poverty in the COMESA region. It endeavoured to explore the contribution by COMESA towards the elimination of poverty using Agriculture and Rural development strategies. The objective of the study was to establish the contribution of COMESA in the fight against poverty in Zambia through Agriculture and rural development. The study employed qualitative approach with an exploratory research design and critical case sampling to choose 13 key informants to explore the contribution of COMESA in the fight against poverty in Zambia. Primary data was used from 13 key informants selected purposively using an interview guide to support secondary data. Data was analysed using thematic and content analysis. The study established that COMESA had been significant in the fight against poverty in Zambia. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) supported Zambia’s agricultural development policy formulation and implementation amongst others, establishing clear commitment to deliver on investing 10 percent of national budgets in the agricultural sector and achieving a six percent growth in agricultural domestic product. It was established that Zambia had worked with Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) through mobilisation of small-scale farmers in partnership with private and public institutions in regularising policy on staple foods, through policy outreach and research, creating market access, and building the capacity of the small-scale farmers to enable them compete in the domestic, regional and international markets. The study further established that Zambia’s livestock development received support from COMESA Livestock Unit which supported efforts aimed at driving sustainable livestock production and productivity, value addition and access to markets in the COMESA region. The Market Linkages Initiative (MLI) supported the ACTESA Secretariat and also focused on promoting growth in food staples trade in Zambia to ensure food security. Zambia through the COMESA Regional Agro-Inputs Programme (COMRAP) implemented by the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) in Zambia contributed to the improvement of rural household food security and livelihoods. The Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme (IPPM) became active in Zambia since 2014 and is an implementation mechanism of the support programme for the consolidation of the action framework under the European Union-Africa Partnership on Cotton. The study recommended that the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme should be strengthened as it continues to support investment in agricultural development in Zambia particularly enhancing support to small-scale farmers.

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