Agriculture: Future Scenarios for Southern Africa – The Livestock Sector in Zambia and Rising Food Prices
The briefing aims to explore the forces of rising food prices and their impact on Zambia’s livestock sector.
The agriculture, in particular the livestock, sector is critical to the alleviation of poverty in the country although serious livestock diseases have intermittently hit the livestock industry for more than two decades.
The rising cost of maize feed has had the effect of increasing the price of chicken, eggs and other products dependent on these inputs. The cost of fuel has also had an impact on the price of transported livestock.
Poor infrastructure, bad policy practices and under nurturing of the agriculture sector has severely constrained its development.
Market access provisions are not the sole basis for improving trade, but rather a conduit for such improvement and must be followed by investment and capacity to supply those markets e.g. meeting sanitary standards, controlling disease outbreak etc.
There needs to be realistic coordination between the public and private sector so as to harness the potential of the livestock sector.
Increasing the scope of livestock diseases that warrant government support would subsequently sustain increasing amounts of livestock available on the market, thus stabilizing prices.