Research Themes

Climate Change and Natural Resource Management

Research under this thematic area will focus on: understanding the impact of climate change on rural livelihoods; analysing the adoption of climate smart agricultural practices; understanding the role of forest resources, e.g., Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) to rural household welfare; analysing drivers of deforestation and land use change, and options for mitigating climate change (e.g., REDD+) in the context the 2015 Paris Agreement. The outputs will contribute towards the design of environmental policies and interventions that support climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable natural resource management in Zambia.

Agriculture Food Security and Nutrition

Research under this thematic area will focus on analysing the impacts of agricultural policy on sustainable food availability, accessibility, affordability, and utilization. The research will also monitor and measure food and nutritional outcomes of agricultural policy interventions. The outputs will contribute to improved national nutrition status through provision of evidence based research findings, which are critical for policy formulation.

Agricultural Diversification

Under this thematic area, research on public expenditure and policy will focus on the re-alignment of government expenditure away from input and output subsidies, monitoring and evaluation of alternative public investments such as investment in farm blocks, irrigation development, and social protection and promotion programmes. Research on technology and smallholder productivity will focus on impacts of technology adoption (e.g., conservation agriculture and mechanization), agricultural and income diversification, land tenure and markets, extension, and rural finance among others. The research outputs from this thematic area will result in increased empirical evidence that can be used to guide policy change that will ultimately enhance agricultural productivity and diversification.

Agriculture and Markets

The Institute will focus on key value chains that have potential to reduce poverty among rural smallholder households. These include; horticulture, fisheries and livestock, grains, oil seeds and other emerging value chains. The outputs from this strategic area will result in; increased private sector-led market development, increased smallholder market participation, and changes in government trade policies.

Gender and Youth in Agriculture

This thematic area will focus on mainstreaming gender issues across all research areas. In addition, the Institute will prioritize research on youth employment and empowerment, and explore constraints and opportunities in the agricultural sector. The outputs will contribute towards gender and youth inclusiveness in agricultural policy formulation in Zambia.