From March 22-24, Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA) Zambia and the International Growth Centre (IGC) held a series of dissemination events to present and discuss the preliminary results of The Impact of Food and Cash Loans on Smallholder Farmers in Zambia, which is being conduction by IPA in collaboration with researchers Kelsey Jack (Tufts University), Günther Fink (Harvard School of Public Health), and Felix Masiye (University of Zambia).
The dissemination events contributed to the on-going policy debate surrounding rural development in Zambia by presenting a forum for policy-makers and non-government stakeholders to discuss the results of the research in terms of informing national policy and future programs.
The dissemination comprised three separate events:
- Targeted detailed discussion on March 22, 2016 with relevant Government and non-government stakeholders at University of Zambia, Lusaka
- Public Dissemination Event on March 22, 2016 at Intercontinental Hotel, Lusaka
- Local dissemination event on March 24 2016 at the Protea Hotel, Chipata, where the project was implemented
The main objective of the study was to contribute to the literature that investigates the causes of the low levels of, and slow growth in, agricultural productivity in developing countries, such as Zambia, and the resulting continued high poverty rates. The project generated a rigorous assessment of the degree to which farm output can be enhanced by addressing a fundamental challenge faced by small farmers: short-term food and credit constraints. Understanding the nature of short-term labour supply by small scale farmers and its underlying causes is key to the design of effective policies and programs to increase agricultural productivity and help provide small farmers with the necessary means to exit poverty.
Discussions with Government, NGOs and Private Sector
Prior to the event, IPA met with a number of stakeholders to share information about the project/event and share the results in cases where organizations were going to be unable to send a representative to the dissemination event.
In Government these included:
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare (MCD&SW)
They also met with NGO representatives, including:
- The Scaling Up Nutrition Movement
- Catholic Relief Services
There were also meetings with the private sector, including NWK Agri-Services.
After the event, there were follow-ups on how these results can inform programs and areas for further research. This interest came from a variety of organizations including One Acre Fund, Financial Sector Deepening - Zambia, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, and the World Bank. IPA is planning more detailed discussions with these organizations.