A Synopsis of Constraints to Crop Productivity among Smallholder Farmers in Choma District, Zambia

Nkumbu Nalwimba, Gubo Qi, George T. Mudimu


Despite having adequate land for crop cultivation and increased government spending on agriculture inputs support program crop productivity remains constant and at times in decline. This study aimed to explore the constraints to crop productivity in Nakeempa Village of Choma district in the Southern province of Zambia. Nakeempa village was chosen as a study area because it is in the southern part of the country where most of Zambia’s maize is produced more so most government agriculture support programs are piloted in this district. A qualitative method approach was used to gather data from the study site; purposive sampling was used to select smallholder farmers and key informants. This research noted that the average yields per hectare for maize, groundnuts, cowpeas and beans in the village in the year 2013 were very low; only 0.91 tons/ha, 0.40 tons/ha, 0.22 tons/ha, 0.34 tons/ha respectively. The main constraints to crop productivity are low use of chemical fertiliser, late delivery of subsidized inputs by the government, lack of modern implements for cultivation, lack of access to finance, a dysfunctional extension system, emergence of institutional silos among government departments, distorted product and input market, uncooperative cooperatives, proliferation of fake seeds and lack of rural infrastructure among others. Lastly, the study recommends a rebuilding of the extension service system, pragmatic shift from maize centric policies and deeper community participation in rural development program design and implementation.

Keywords: agriculture; crop productivity; constraints; smallholder; Zambia

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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