Trends in Agricultural and Rural Development Indicators in Zambia
Effective agricultural and food security policies in Africa need to be based on a solid empirical foundation. In Zambia, it is widely perceived that poverty rates are increasing, agricultural growth is stagnant, and real food prices are higher as food production declines. This study examines these trends and finds that all of these perceptions are wrong. Rural poverty rates have declined substantially in rural Zambia since the early 1990s, although they are still unacceptably high. Real staple food prices for consumers have declined by 20% over the past decade, thanks to major reductions in maize milling and retailing margins. And there is evidence of impressive production growth for some crops that are becoming increasingly important sources of income and food security for Zambian farmers, despite evidence of stagnant production for other key crops. This paper examines the relationship between trends in agricultural sector performance and rural poverty in Zambia, the likely factors driving these trends, and the future implications for agricultural policy and investment rate
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Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs
54603, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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