(Note: Most documents are in PDF format, which requires Adobe Reader.)
Released: 10th November, 2015
In a bid to highlight the opportunities outside the maize sector, IAPRI embarks on a comparative assessment of the horticulture sector in income growth and rural poverty reduction in Zambia. The infographic notes that while Zambia has been experiencing 10% agricultural growth, there has not been a significant reduction in rural poverty. The reasons cited include: policy focus on maize; uneven fund allocation in the agriculture budget; smallholder land constraints; unwillingness to change status quo; and little attention given to sectors excluding maize. It proceeds to show bottlenecks in horticulture development which include limited income and assets of smallholders, limited cash inputs and knowledge, and concentration of production and marketing to areas with good roads. Empirical evidence shows that smallholder horticulture is much more profitable than maize, and smallholder horticultural production has a higher impact on household income than maize. Factors influencing smallholder participation in horticultural markets include: female-headed households, relatively young heads, proximity to good roads, price variability, Farmer Input Support Programme, and maize quantity purchase by the Food Reserve Agency. Recommendations have been made to government, smallholder farmers and the private sector.
Released: 23rd December, 2014
In this infographic, IAPRI begins by highlighting the budget speech made by the Minister of Finance Hon Alexander Chikwanda and proceeds to show Zambia's agricultural budgetary allocation trend from 2012 to 2015. Using an illustration, the infographic shows the breakdown of the total allocation to the agricultural sector. It then draws the attention of the reader to the key drivers of agricultural growth and argues that government spending on subsidies has the lowest return on investment. It further postulates that delayed budget releases to the sector are worrying, and outlines the major areas of concern: policy concentration on FRA and FISP as well as inadequate funding to the key drivers of agricultural growth. In a more succinct manner, the infographic states categorically that FRA and FISP have limited impact on productivity and poverty reduction, and that maize centric policies will not move the rural majority out of poverty. In conclusion, the infographic prescribes the following: prioritize and direct more resources towards the key drivers of agricultural growth, implementation of FISP should be through a flexible e-voucher system, FRA role should be limited to strategic reserves, and there should be an improvement in the timing of budget releases.
Detailed Reading: 2015 - Zambia's Agricultural Budget Analysis
Released: 08th May, 2015
Premised on the growing concern that due to poor rains Zambia would go hungry in 2015, the infographic posits that Zambia is well suited to deal with a poor harvest in the 2015/2016 marketing season. Using scenarios and illustrations, the infographic concludes that it would take quite a catastrophic harvest for Zambia to face terrible shortages of maize. Furthermore, the infographic argues that maize stocks alone are not enough and proposes that government should avoid knee-jerk responses to panic over the harvest. As such, there is no need to close the borders. Instead, maize stocks need to distributed to areas that need it the most, and once the Crop Forecast Report is published, the government should set out its target for the Food Reserve Agency purchases and stick to it.
Released: 24th Feburary, 2015
Based on IAPRI’s extensive research on land related issues, the infographic sets out to show that smallholder farmers are land constrained in the midst of abundance. The infographic begins by providing background information on land availability, ownership and cultivation smallholder farmers. It proceeds to explain why smallholder access to land is important: high poverty rates are concentrated among smaller farms, more than ¾ of smallholder farmers with less than 2 hectares of land live on less than K8 [US$1] per day, addressing rural poverty requires putting in place strategies to improve income opportunities, and evidence showing that land access of 2 to 3 hectares among smallholder farmers can lead to decrease in poverty rates. The infographic then shows why land is becoming scarce. To sum it all, the infographic shows that the total land claims against the proportion of land available for agricultural production include urban areas, game management areas, national parks, wetlands, state lands and forest reserves. In dealing with scarcity of land, the infographic suggests the following: identification and opening up of new areas through infrastructural investments, revisiting the farm block concept, easing and opening up the system for titling of land, re-looking at the Land Act to ensure that those with less financial means and education would have land available to them, and development of appropriate strategies for improving income opportunities for smallholder farmers with less than 2 hectares of land.
This infographic sets out to show that 2013/14 Crop Forecast Survey that showed a 32% increase over the previous year’s production was correct. The infographic gives four reasons why the forecast was to be believed: maize production estimate was based on a survey of 13,600 small-scale farmers across the country; farmers received higher prices for their produce the previous year; higher prices and private investments enabled a massive increase in fertilizer use by small-scale farmers; and despite late rains the overall rainfall pattern was good. The infographic proceeds by suggesting that Zambia could build on the growth by increasing competition for smallholder maize, encourage favorably priced cash markets for Zambian farmers, and enable farmers to invest in farm production and increase yield. With the stamp of empirical evidence, IAPRI endorsed government’s announcement that FRA maize purchases would not exceed strategic reserve requirements and that government would not restrict regional maize trade. Building on this momentum, it was recommended that the Agricultural Marketing Bill be enacted, and a Warehousing Authority be designated as required by the Agricultural Credit Act.