Zambia continues to suffer from a regime of ineffectual subsidies and insufficient social protection. Despite evidence showing how the country’s signature farming input and output subsidy programmes, i.e. the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) respectively, have failed to spur agricultural diversification, address low agricultural productivity, food security, and stubbornly high rural poverty rates, the country has continued to allocate significant resources towards their implementation. Notably, Zambia is currently grappling with the need to make some tough choices as it seeks to deliver on the Zambia-Plus Recovery Plan proposed by the Minister of Finance. Among other options, the government should consider how to scale back on discretionary spending whilst supporting economic growth and social development. Politically, maintaining the status quo is likely to be very costly given that the country can no longer afford the continued financial haemorrhage from the current operations of FISP and FRA. This paper presents a case for reforming FISP and FRA by providing alternative approaches that will work better for both the individual Zambians who rely on the state for support, and the country as a whole.
Chapoto, Antony; Mofya-Mukuka, Rhoda; Namonje-Kapembwa, Thelma; Zulu-Mbata, Olipa; and Chisanga, Brian
"Achieving More with Less: Reform and Scaling Down of Food Reserve Agency and Farmer Input Support Programme and Boosting Social Protection,"
Zambia Social Science Journal: Vol. 6
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/zssj/vol6/iss2/5