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Agriculture and Food Security


The Zambian government recognizes that broad-based economic growth is needed to reduce poverty and improve food security for millions of Zambians. To do this, the government is focusing on increasing farmer incomes, particularly for smallholder farmers who depend heavily on subsistence agriculture. Without a reasonable income that can act as a buffer for rural families, a poor harvest, low market prices, or other issues can lead to food insecurity, malnutrition, sickness, and a continuing cycle of poverty.

Food Security and Feed the Future

In Zambia, the Feed the Future strategy aims to diversify staple food production and consumption to improve food security and rural incomes while reducing under-nutrition in children. Our programs work in four integrated intervention areas:

  • Improving value chains
  • Policy reform
  • Household interventions
  • Nutrition

We are supporting innovative, public and private sector-led activities that encourage the increased production of high-value crops. We also support the promotion of conservation agriculture, improving access to agricultural inputs (fertilizer, equipment, training, etc.), technology, improving land use, irrigation, and research and development for more productive, resilient crops. Since malnutrition and poverty usually go hand in hand, we also seek to improve the household nutrition practices and health of rural families, along with increasing their incomes.

Additionally, Feed the Future investments will enhance the production, marketing, and consumption of nutritious crops including orange-fleshed sweet potato and provitamin A-rich orange maize. Feed the Future programs in Zambia will concentrate on the Lusaka – Eastern Province corridor due to the high prevalence of poverty and under-nutrition, and the potential for growth.

The Feed the Future partnership with Zambia is aimed at assisting 200,000 smallholder farming households to rise above the poverty line and decrease the percentage of malnourished children by one-third.

Agriculture Markets and Trade

Private sector participation and investment in the agricultural sector is critical to advancing economic growth in Zambia. We are supporting the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) Compact, which will help to create an encouraging environment for private sector investment. We also focus on addressing policy and regulatory issues related to agriculture, natural resource management, identifying trade opportunities, issues and constraints, and developing a supportive policy and regulatory environment for agriculture. Other activities support public-private approaches to increase the competitiveness and income of small farmers, and to facilitate their access to credit and financial services.

Last updated: October 20, 2016

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