Zambia—Study of Nontraditional Exports

Client: International Growth Centre

Duration: 2011-2012

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Zambia

Solutions: Economic Growth

Zambia’s future development will depend significantly on the diversification of the economy. To that end, DAI was commissioned to assess the potential for the diversification of Zambia’s agricultural economy into nontraditional export markets by determining prospects for growth, employment creation, and equitable wealth and income distribution in the sugar, cotton, and coffee sectors.

The study outlined an overview of the global market for each of the sectors, provided an overview in the Zambian context and gauged both the opportunities and constraints for growth. It provided an in-depth analysis of the key current and prospective natural, economic, and policy issues challenging and enabling the long-term growth of the sectors and consequently the attainment of sustainable economic development of Zambia.

Sample Activities

  • Research and conduct interviews.
  • Provide an in-depth analysis of the key issues and challenges faced by the sugar, cotton, and coffee sectors.

Select Results

  • Established that there was considerable potential for growth and employment creation in all three sectors. Prospects for equitable wealth and income distribution were most available in the sugar and cotton sectors, which already have a significant number of small-scale producers in the value chain.
  • Reported that constraints confronting the subsectors included lack of financing and high transactions costs.
  • Created proposal to promote export diversification in the sectors, focusing on the need to concentrate on programs that ease financial access for small farmers, as well as promoting investment in infrastructure that will reduce the transactions costs of doing business in Zambia.


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