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Factors Contributing to Zambia’s 2010 Maize Bumper Harvest

Listed author(s):
  • Burke, William J.
  • Jayne, Thomas S.
  • Chapoto, Antony

Key Points • Zambia’s maize crop grew by 48% between the 2009 and 2010 harvests, leading to the largest crop recorded in recent history. • Yield growth accounted for 59% of the maize production growth between 2009 and 2010. Expansion of area planted to maize explains an additional 23%, while the remaining 18% can be attributed to a rise in the ratio of harvested to planted land. • Favourable weather conditions contributed 47% of the maize yield growth between 2009 and 2010, whilst, 25% came from increased fertilizer use from both the private and public sectors, and 23% from area expansion. The remaining 5% can be attributed to hybrid seed use and improved management. • Due to favorable weather conditions in both 2008/09 and 2009/10 growing seasons, maize yield response rates to fertilizer application rose from about 3 kg of additional maize for each kg of fertilizer applied in 2006 to nearly 4 kg in 2010. • Though Zambia had a good harvest in 2010, the country remains vulnerable to weather shocks. • The unpredictability of government maize policies continues to generate uncertainty for participants in the marketing system. A decrease in maize production may occur next year due to the marketing problems faced by smallholder especially those caused by FRA’s lateness in paying farmers.

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Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs with number 97034.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
Handle: RePEc:ags:midcpb:97034
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  1. Haggblade, Steven & Tembo, Gelson, 2003. "Development, Diffusion and Impact of Conservation Farming in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54464, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. Minot, Nicholas, 2003. "Income Diversification And Poverty Reduction In The Northern Uplands Of Vietnam," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22029, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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