Are you contemplating a year end gift?  

Do you have a Donor Advised Fund

Are you interested in participating in an innovative and life-changing initiative? 

After two years of investigation, development and prayer,

Partners in Action (PIA) has launched

The Poverty Lab

to tackle extreme poverty in Zambia.

Watch The Poverty Myth (5 minutes)

History has taught us that providing aid does not eliminate extreme poverty.  It is only through the creation of a sustainable economy that we can really move people out of poverty – for good. 

So why doesit take a major disaster like a hurricane or earthquake for humanitarian organizations to collaborate?  Isn’t extreme poverty a disaster? Can the same organizations collaborate to end extreme poverty?

The Landscape

There are 600,000 small-scale farms and 5,000,000 people in Zambia who grow barely enough food to survive.  Zambia has the 3rd lowest life expectancy in the world – just 39 years old.  Zambia must import 70% of the food needed to feed its people.

The Solution

PIA has launched the Zambia Poverty Lab whose core is product diversification.  This initiative will change the mindset of the small-scale farmer from growing a single crop (traditionally maize) to growing a diversified group of products including maize, cowpeas, tomatoes, honey and chickens.  It protects the farmer from disaster if one product fails and creates year-round income for the farm.  We call this group of products the farmer’s Market Basket.

 The Process

  • We have engaged a Zambia Country Manager to oversee all aspects of the Poverty Lab. He has over 20 years training small scale farmers, including 14 years as a member of the World Vision team.
  • The initiative creates a cooperative of, on average, 100 small-scale farmers. The cooperative structure enables us to negotiate pricing for purchasing farm inputs and selling farm outputs. To the farmer this is an “income guarantee” never before available.  
  • We have established a collaboration of humanitarian and business organizations with proven track records.  Through this collaboration we were able to establish a complete value chain solution. 
  • The farmer will receive ongoing training on improved farming techniques, water conservation and farm management. As each new product is added to the farmer’s Market Basket, the farmer will receive training on how to successfully grow the new product.
  • The Country Manager and staff will provide ongoing expert assistance to ensure the farmer is successful.

The Program

  • Each farmer receives a $1000 zero interest loan when they join The Poverty Lab.  The farmer will start by growing maize, cowpeas and 100 broiler chickens.
  • At the end of 6 months the first group of products are harvested and sold.  From the profit the farmers pays back 1/3 of the loan, and has enough income to replant crops and increase the number of chickens.  Also at this time, new products – such as peppers and tomatoes – are added to the farmers market basket.
  • The loan repayments are rolled into funding loans for 33 new farmers.  This process repeats at six-month intervals.

The Final Outcome

After 18 months a farmer’s loan has been paid in full, the farmer is growing a diversified market basket of products, and the farmer has a sustainable farm.  The loan repayment has enabled us to add 100 more farmers to the program.  And the Community is strengthened immeasurably as thriving farms create opportunities throughout the Community.



For 32 years Partners in Action has played a vital role serving communities in need worldwide. Our mission is to move children and families out of poverty by building sustainable communities that can support themselves economically.  As a Christ-centered and purpose-driven organization, our goal is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the communities we serve.

Will you make the investment to walk with us to accomplish our mission? 

Click here to Donate to The Poverty Lab

I hope you have a blessed Christmas!

Jerry Bowman, CEO

Partners in Action

3233 W Peoria Ave #211

Phoenix, AZ 85029