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CSO/MACO nationally-representative rural surveys provide important insights on smallholder crop marketing behavior from the 2001 and 2004 harvests. Only about 25 percent of smallholder farmers in Zambia sold maize in both seasons, and about 15-20 percent of smallholders sold fresh horticulture as well as groundnuts, with 11-13 percent selling cassava. From 6-10 percent of farmers produced and sold cotton. Overall, Zambian smallholder agriculture has become more diversified over the past decade, with maize, cassava, groundnuts, cotton, horticultural crops, and animal products all becoming important sources of cash revenue as well as production for home consumption (except, of course, cotton). Importantly in both seasons studied, horticulture crop sales are roughly equivalent to the value of maize sales nationwide There is substantial variation in farm income and off-farm income across small farm households, owing to disparities in landholding size, other productive assets, and variables affecting access to markets. Two percent of all smallholder farms nationwide accounted for over 40% of all the maize sold by smallholder households in Zambia in 2000/01 and 2003/04. This same two percent of smallholder households also accounted for about 17% and 20% of the total value of all crop sales of the smallholder sector. Poverty reduction policy options are severely constrained by these production and marketing patterns especially if operating though programs that raise market prices for sellers and buyers.


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