The Impact of Seasonal Food and Cash Loans on Smallholder Farmers in Zambia

International Growth Centre (IGC) Zambia in collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) held a series of dissemination events on 22 and 24 March 2016 to present and discuss the preliminary results of a study titled: “The Impact of Seasonal Food and Cash Loans on Smallholder Farmers in Zambia” by Kelsey Jack (Tufts University), Günther Fink (Harvard School of Public Health) and Felix Masiye (University of Zambia).

The main objective of the project was to contribute to the literature that investigates the causes of the low levels of, and slow growth in, agricultural productivity in developing countries, such as Zambia, and the resulting continued high poverty rates. The project generated a rigorous assessment of the degree to which farm output can be enhanced by addressing a fundamental challenge faced by small farmers: short-term food and credit constraints. Understanding the nature of short-term labour supply by small scale farmers and its underlying causes is key to the design of effective policies and programs to increase agricultural productivity and help provide small farmers with the necessary means to exit poverty.

The dissemination events contributed to the on-going policy debate surrounding rural development by presenting a forum for policy makers and non-government stakeholders to discuss the results of the research in terms of informing national policy and future programs.