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Abstract

Key Points • Zambia’s maize crop grew by 48% between the 2009 and 2010 harvests, leading to the largest crop recorded in recent history. • Yield growth accounted for 59% of the maize production growth between 2009 and 2010. Expansion of area planted to maize explains an additional 23%, while the remaining 18% can be attributed to a rise in the ratio of harvested to planted land. • Favourable weather conditions contributed 47% of the maize yield growth between 2009 and 2010, whilst, 25% came from increased fertilizer use from both the private and public sectors, and 23% from area expansion. The remaining 5% can be attributed to hybrid seed use and improved management. • Due to favorable weather conditions in both 2008/09 and 2009/10 growing seasons, maize yield response rates to fertilizer application rose from about 3 kg of additional maize for each kg of fertilizer applied in 2006 to nearly 4 kg in 2010. • Though Zambia had a good harvest in 2010, the country remains vulnerable to weather shocks. • The unpredictability of government maize policies continues to generate uncertainty for participants in the marketing system. A decrease in maize production may occur next year due to the marketing problems faced by smallholder especially those caused by FRA’s lateness in paying farmers.

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