ccess to Land, and Poverty Reduction in Rural Zambia: Connecting the Policy Issues
Michael T. Weber
ves of this paper are fourfold: First, we examine the prevailing farm tribution within Zambia’s smallholder farm sector, and how this farm size structure affects the potential for broad-based agricultural growth and rural poverty in Zambia. The paper seeks to explain why there is such a strong correlation within the smallholder farming sector between landholding size and total household incomes, given that off-farm activities make up an important share of total income among rural households in Zambia. Second, the paper explores the apparent paradox of why such a large percentage of rural households have less than one hectare of land and perceive that additional land is not available to them despite the fact that most of the country’s land remains uncultivated. Third, we examine the factors associated with the large variations in landholding size within Zambia’s smallholder farm sector by estimating econometric models of household landholding plus rented land, and of households’ perceptions of the availability of additional land in their area. These findings hold important implications for government policy and investments under its Poverty Reduction Strategy Program, which relates to the paper’s fourth objective of identifying concrete proposals for improving access to land, as well as for improving productivity in the use of existing land, among the most land-constrained smallholder households, which, we argue, will expand the number of small farmers in Zambia who could directly benefit from agricultural growth processes.
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