Food production in Zambia: The impact of selected structural adjustment policies

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Simatele, Munacinga C.H.
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African Economic Research consortium
The paper examines the impact of selected structural adjustment policies on food production in Zambia. Using a four-year panel of post-harvest data, a system of six crops, two variable inputs and three fixed inputs is estimated. The resulting supply responses suggest a negatively sloped supply curve for sorghum and millet, which is attributed to the presence of credit constraints. Simulations are conducted to asses the impact of the removal of subsidies and exchange rate controls. The results indicate that these policies have led to increased food production although the magnitude of the increase is in general not very large. The results also indicate a significant fall in fertilizer use. Information, credit and distance to markets are also very important variables for food production. Deliberate efforts are needed to develop both input and output markets and to provide more formal credit institutions targeted at small-scale farmers.