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Country Profile

In Zambia, Agriculture plays a key role in the economy and could be a major driver of growth and poverty reduction. The sector is characterized by a dual structure, where a small number of large commercial farms, concentrated along the railway line, co-exist with scattered subsistence smallholders and few small commercial farmers who face severe difficulties accessing input and output markets. It is estimated that about 40 percent of rural households are engaged solely in subsistence agriculture. While the agricultural sector has long been neglected by the government’s urban bias and single-minded emphasis on maize for food self-sufficiency, the country’s infrastructure, extension services and agricultural research and development remain underdeveloped, especially in remote rural areas (Bonaglia, 2008). Since the early 1990s, agricultural policy has undergone a major change, shifting from heavy government intervention to a liberalized system aimed at bolstering private sector participation in various aspects of agricultural production including input supply, processing, marketing and extension service provision. For a full report on the pluralistic agricultural extension system in Zambia, click HERE

Public Sector

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives - url not functional     

Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development - url not functional      

Public Research Institution with Extension Unit

Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives:
Annual Report 2009,

"ZARI is one of the nine Departments in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. ZARI has the mandate to provide agricultural services and conduct public good as well as farmer demand-driven research in soils, rain-fed and irrigated crops, plant protection and farming systems."

Under the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries:


  • National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR)

Non-Governmental Organizations

Farmer Based Organization

Pre- and In-Service Training for Extension Professionals

University of Zambia, School of Agricultural Sciences, 
Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension 

"Education is part of the School of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Zambia. The Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree programme with a specialization in Agricultural Economics. The Department has expertise in all areas within the field of Agricultural Economics and Extension Education. These areas include Project Appraisal, Monitoring, and Evaluation; Agribusiness Management; Rural Sociology; Extension Education; Agricultural Marketing, Agricultural Policy; Agricultural Finance; Econometrics; Micro and Macro Economics, International Trade, Research Methods, etc. These areas of agricultural economics and extension are fully offered in the various courses that are taught to undergraduate students.

Related Resources 

Agricultural Consultative Forum,

"The ACF promotes in a non-partisan manner, evidence based private-public sector dialogue, consultation and participation in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of agricultural sector policies and programmes."

Zambia Food Security Research Project, FSRP,

RIU Research Into Use: Sharing lessons to enable innovation in agriculture.

ASTI Agricultural Research and Development investments and capacity in Zambia:

Andrea Bohn,
7 de jun. de 2011 4:02
Andrea Bohn,
7 de jun. de 2011 4:12