A Comparative Study of Agricultural Support Institutions in Central Province of Zambia: A Historical and Spatial Analysis

Augrey H. Malambo


This is a comparative study of agricultural support institutions in Central Province, Zambia focusing on the 1980-90 and 1997-2008 periods. Generally, the study intended to identify the names of agricultural support institutions which existed in Central Province, as a smaller unit, and Zambia in general, and analyze their spatial aspect. In order to achieve this and other goals, the investigation conducted an extensive review of existing literature, old and new maps, distribution of questionnaires to informants, interviews, Focus Group Discussions and observations. The main thesis of this study was that agricultural support institutions differed in nature, funding, control and spatiality over different periods in Zambia’s history.

The major findings were that both private and government agricultural support institutions existed soon after independence up to 1973 when the Zambian government declared a one party system and thereby nationalizing over 90% of the agricultural industry. Thus, the majority of agricultural support institutions between 1973 and 1990 were government funded, owned and controlled parastatal organizations such as National Agriculture Marketing Board (NAMBOARD), Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) and Lima Bank. These institutions had both a regional and national character, and were spatially more widely distributed. After the introduction of multi party politics and liberalization economic policies in 1991, the institutions collapsed due to withdraw of subsidies by government and, new, largely privately owned institutions, emerged such as Miombo and Omnia Fertilizer companies, Maize Research Institute (MRI), among others. Institutions which emerged after 1991 were more limited in distribution but more financially independent and sustainable. However, after 1997, the government intervened in the agricultural industry again by establishing the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). FRA was the conduit through which government bought crops especially maize while FISP was used to distribute subsidized maize seed and eight bags of chemical fertilizers to selected members of cooperatives. The study concludes that different agricultural support institutions have existed at different periods of Zambia’s history and their spatial distribution has been changing depending on their resource base.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jgg.v5n3p226

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)  Email: jgg@ccsenet.org

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