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Zambia Agriculture Status Report 2017

It gives me great pleasure to present to you IAPRI’s second issue of the Zambia Agriculture Status Report covering the period January to December 2017. Zambia received good rains during the 2016/17 agricultural season due to the La Niña weather phenomenon ensuring a bumper harvest. The combination of a good harvest, large carryover stocks, and export ban inevitably had a dampening effect on the local grain prices. The situation was even more precarious because unlike the El Niño year, nearly all of Zambia’s neighbours had some good harvest hence there was no country to export the surplus maize except to East Africa and the Horn of Africa. It is extremely important that a predictable trade policy is maintained for Zambia to become a reliable Regional Food Basket. The year 2017 has also seen the government at all levels committing to reforming the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) by implementing the programme through the electronic voucher system throughout the country. In addition, the country launched the Second National Agricultural Policy (SNAP) and the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). It is against this background that IAPRI decided to publish this report summarising the status of the agriculture sector in Zambia to inform policy makers and other stakeholders about the constraints and opportunities of the agriculture sector in this a particular year. The first volume was published in December 2016. IAPRI welcomes your feedback in order to improve the content of this series. We are very thankful for your support during the year under review.