Building competitive agricultural markets for Zambia: Unlocking export potential

Project report Firms and agriculture

Zambia has the potential to become the region’s breadbasket with abundant arable land and water. Global and regional food demand continues to grow for crops such as soybeans and maize which are inputs to animal feed and vegetable oil. However, trade restrictions and anti-competitive conduct are major roadblocks to realising Zambia’s potential. Farmers in Zambia have received prices for crops like soybeans and maize which were as much as 40-50% lower than what they could have obtained in more attractive export markets. Prices for key imported inputs, such as fertilizer, in Zambia have been inflated by up to 45%, exacerbating the drain on subsidies for the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) and eroding the competitiveness of non-subsidised agriculture. Competitive markets are also essential to realise the potential for downstream growth of poultry and to relieve consumer food price pressures in Zambia for staples such as vegetable oil.