This region covers major valleys of Zambia such as Gwembe, Lunsemfwa, and Luangwa, and the southern parts of Western and Southern provinces. Mean annual rainfall in Region 1 is low, up to 800 mm, and is generally well distributed. It is the driest and most drought-prone region. Temperatures in the growing season are generally high, and range from 20°C to 38°C.

The soil groups are either clay soils with fine loam topsoil and slightly acid, or alkaline with minor fertility limitations and good agricultural potentials, or shallow and not suitable for cultivation. Other soil groups are poorly drained, coarse, sandy, and are medium to very strongly acid. They are unsuitable for crop production. The predominant vegetation types in Region 1 are mopane, acacia woodlands, and deciduous thickets.

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