Zambia Agricultural Risk Profile


In Zambia, the agricultural productivity rose markedly by 170% between 1990 and 2013 but the sector’s contribution to GDP has fallen considerably. The country’s contribution to export earnings remains stable yet relatively low due to a lot of compounding risks affecting the agricultural sector.


This brief relies on the national averages to provide a high-level quantitative snapshot of selected risks that affect Zambia’s agricultural sector. Specifically, it presents how the sector has grown, the major agricultural products, and how vulnerable people are. It also provides background information on the various forms of risks including production, market, and macro level risks. Findings suggest that flood disaster occurs every two years, with drought every decade, leading to greater production risks than output price risks. Crops most affected by production yield losses are sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, soybeans, cotton, and tobacco. Apart from the year 1992, yield losses have been relatively low across the period. Sorghum is the crop most affected by output price risks.

Conducted by:
Darryl Jones
Date of publication:
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PARM (2016). Zambia Agricultural Risk Profile (by D. Jones). PARM Country Risk Profile #7. Rome: PARM/IFAD. Available at: