Zambia’s agricultural sector represents the backbone of its rural economy and holds great potential for the entire country. But the sector faces challenges and is likely to grow more vulnerable as a result of climate change and risk. At the same time, land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and the agriculture sector account for approximately 93 percent of the country’s carbon footprint. The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GoZ) is therefore integrating climate change concerns into its agriculture policy agenda. Under its Zambia climate-smart agriculture (CSA) strategy framework, the GoZ is promoting the rollout of CSA practices that will sustainably increase productivity and enhance resilience.
The CSA investment plan (CSAIP) aims to identify and fill knowledge gaps about CSA’s local- and national-level benefits (specifically under climate change), inform policy development, and prioritize investment opportunities. The World Bank collaborated with the GoZ to develop a CSAIP intended to support the operationalization of the country’s climate commitments toward development of a productive and resilient agriculture sector. The CSAIP development began with a participatory process that identified the agriculture sector’s policy goals. This report takes the next step by assessing the impacts of a suite of CSA practices on achieving the sector goals and on household welfare. The report concludes with recommendations and proposals for future CSA investments.
The report finds that for rural households, CSA has a mostly positive long-term impact. In the short term, farmers face obstacles in the form of high upfront and production costs, and will require financial and other support during the early stages if they are to adopt CSA practices. At the sectoral level, CSA adoption by between 25 percent and 80 percent of farmers would enhance the likelihood of achieving, and even surpassing, the agriculture sector’s 2050 targets for crop production, food availability, and trade.