CUTS Africa Resource Centre (CUTS ARC), Lusaka, with the support from Danish Association for International Cooperation (MS-Zambia), organised a lobby and advocacy workshop under the project entitled, ‘Trade and Market Linkages for Small Scale Farmers in Zambia’ at Mansa, Zambia, on November 20-21, 2006.
In the workshop, small scale farmers and producers urged government to revisit the agriculture marketing policy if agriculture is to contribute to economic development. As it has been widely hailed that the policy has significantly contributed to sever poverty in rural areas, this is because a considerable percentage of Zambians living in rural and semi-urban areas and earn their living through agriculture, and related activities.
The sector has suffered significant challenges as a result of liberalisation which include: poor pricing mechanisms; inability to access markets; lack of information on market requirement and standards; branding; packaging poor representation of small scale farmers’ interests; and low budget allocation to the sector. Participants acknowledge the need for an effective policy which is coherent with efforts to address poverty such as the MDGs.