Economists have long held that broad-based agricultural growth is the most powerful source of poverty reduction in developing countries where most of the rural population is engaged in agriculture (Johnston and Mellor 1961; Mellor 1974; Lipton 2006). However, in Zambia’s case, despite sustained and fairly robust agricultural growth since 2000, rural poverty levels have remained at about 80% over the past 15 years. This indicates that productivity in the agricultural sector needs to be increased, especially considering that no country, apart from the island economies of Singapore and Hong Kong, has been able to sustain rapid transition out of poverty without raising the productivity in its agricultural sector.


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