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Abstract

The Zambian Government encourages crop production in the Gwembe Valley without taking into consideration the risks involved. These risks mainly originate from the stochastic nature of rainfall. This paper, therefore, identifies optimal cropping patterns in the Gwembe Valley by using Target MOT AD Model. The results of the Target MOT AD Model indicate an optimal cropping pattern of growing sorghum, rice and soyabeans. This is different from the existing cropping pattern of sorghum, sunflower, cotton and maize. The overall policy implication of adopting the cropping pattern obtained from the model solution is that some resources allocated to the production of current crops have to be reallocated to the production of new crops. Moreover, since people in the Gwembe Valley are used to growing of cotton, sunflower and maize, the adoption of the suggested new crops will entail the education of the people (through extension services) in the crop husbandry of these crops.

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