zambiaIn Zambia, Agriculture plays a key role in the economy and could be a major driver of growth and poverty reduction. The sector is characterized by a dual structure, where a small number of large commercial farms, concentrated along the railway line, co-exist with scattered subsistence smallholders and few small commercial farmers who face severe difficulties accessing input and output markets. It is estimated that about 40 percent of rural households are engaged solely in subsistence agriculture. While the agricultural sector has long been neglected by the government’s urban bias and single-minded emphasis on maize for food self-sufficiency, the country’s infrastructure, extension services and agricultural research and development remain underdeveloped, especially in remote rural areas (Bonaglia, 2008).

History

A Brief History of Public Extension Policies, Resources and Advisory Activities

Since the early 1990s, agricultural policy has undergone a major change, shifting from heavy government intervention to a liberalized system aimed at bolstering private sector participation in various aspects of agricultural production including input supply, processing, marketing and extension service provision. As part of the government disengagement, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forest embarked in public-private partnerships through creation of agricultural trusts with the mandate to manage public assets on a commercial basis and provide research, advisory and training services (Bonaglia, 2008). However, the 1996-2001 Agricultural Sector Investment Program (ASIP) designed by GRZ and donors to facilitate the transition to a market economy in agriculture did not produce the desire outcome. A series of droughts coupled with an unsupportive and unpredictable business environment contributed to reducing the incentives for the private sector to fill the void left by public intervention.

The new National Agricultural Policy (NAP) 2004-2015 provides the overall vision and policy framework for the agricultural sector and assigns a pivotal role to the private sector, which is expected to engage increasingly in service provision. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MACO) is expected to focus on its core functions (policy formulation, enforcement of legislation and regulation) while developing partnerships with other stakeholders in the sector to ensure adequate provision of extension services, agricultural research, and monitoring and evaluation. Donors are encouraged to provide financial, technical and other support in the implementation of agricultural policies and programs and capacity building for stakeholders (Bonaglia, 2008). MACO uses its staff from the national level down to the field level to implement extension programs. At the national level, Zambia public extension comprises 742 staff members and is managed by a team of 308 senior staff according to the MEAS report (2011). Seven of the senior staff members have a PhD and 31 were trained at the Master of Science level. Women account for 13 % of senior management staff. There are 64 subject matter specialists, 323 field-level extension staff and 26 ICT staff. The MEAS report indicated that the public sector does not employ in-service training staff (Table 1).

Table 1: Human Resources in the Public Extension Service in Zambia (Governmental or Ministry-based Extension Organization)

Major Categories of Extension Staff

Secondary School diploma

2-3 yr. Ag diploma

B.Sc. degree

M.Sc./Ing. Agr. degree

Ph.D. degree

Gender

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

Senior Management Staff

3

114

3

10

25

114

7

24

1

6

Subject Matter Specialists (SMS)

   

11

53

           

Field Level Extension Staff

45

278

               

Information, Communications & Technology (ICT) Support Staff

3

5

1

2

3

5

2

4

 

1

In-Service Training Staff

                   

Total Extension Staff:   742                  

73

397

15

65

28

119

9

28

1

7

Source: IFPRI/FAO/IICA Worldwide Extension Study, 2011

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# Looking for JobFrancis Ndhlovu 2017-08-02 18:36
My name is Francis Ndhlovu i have just recent finished my BSC in Agroforestry at the Copperbelt University in Zambia.
Its always my dream to work For your company.If there is any vacancy where i can work in your company consider me.
I also have a diploma in Applicable Agriculture which i got in Israel.
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