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Quantitative Livelihood Profile Analysis of Rural Households in Zambia


  • Subakanya, M.
  • Hichaambwa, M.
  • Chapoto, A.
  • Kangasniemi, M.
  • Knowles, M.


The asset base, income and livelihood strategies of rural households in Zambia differ widely. For this reason, a one-size-fits-all strategy will not be effective. Therefore, there is need for empirical evidence of how different policy instruments in agriculture and social protection and combinations of these can be targeted to different population groups. This could also help orient public expenditure into more impactful and cost effective interventions in agriculture and social protection. Using Principal component analysis and Cluster analysis, Zambia s 1.4 million smallholder farming households fall into five broad livelihood groups. While crop and non-crop agriculture plays a dominant role in the livelihoods of most rural households, off-farm activities are also important. Poor rural households need both income and productive support, which can be provided through social protection and smallholder agricultural development programmes. Agricultural development programmes need to be adjusted to different crop and non-crop agricultural activities. Support also needs to be provided to off-farm income-generating activities. For the wealthiest clusters, policy should consider private sector led down and upstream agricultural supply and/or value chain inclusion and development. Acknowledgement : We acknowledge the financial support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). We particularly appreciate the input in the design and analysis of the study, including review comments by Moses Chibole, Silvio Daidone, Alejandro Grinspun and Maria Angelita Ruvalcaba of FAO and peer reviewing by Fabio Veras. Any views expressed or errors are solely the responsibility of the authors.

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  • Subakanya, M. & Hichaambwa, M. & Chapoto, A. & Kangasniemi, M. & Knowles, M., 2018. "Quantitative Livelihood Profile Analysis of Rural Households in Zambia," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277348, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae18:277348
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.277348

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ansoms, An & McKay, Andrew, 2010. "A quantitative analysis of poverty and livelihood profiles: The case of rural Rwanda," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 584-598, December.
    2. Tembo, Solomon & Sitko, Nicholas, 2013. "Technical Compendium: Descriptive Agricultural Statistics and Analysis for Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 155988, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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