Achieving More with Less: Reform and Scaling Down of FRA/FISP and Boosting Social Protection

Zambia continues to suffer from a regime of ineffectual subsidies and insufficient social protection. Despite evidence showing how the country’s signature farming input and output subsidy programmes, that is, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) respectively, have failed to spur agricultural diversification, address low agricultural productivity, food security, and stubbornly high rural poverty rates, the country has continued to allocate significant resources towards their implementation.

Notably, Zambia is currently grappling with the need to make some tough choices as it seeks to deliver on the Zambia-Plus Recovery Plan proposed by the Minister of Finance. Among other options, the Government should consider how to scale back on discretionary spending whilst supporting economic growth and social development.

IAPRI proposes three alternative programmes that the Government could invest in to deliver on the key objectives of reducing rural poverty, supporting farmers and creating a sustainable and diverse market for farmers’ agricultural products;

1. To alleviate poverty, the Government could spend more on... read paper on - http://www.iapri.org.zm/images/PolicyBriefs/Smart_subsidies.pdf