Who Is Losing Out? Structural Adjustment, Gender, and the Agricultural Sector in Zambia

  • Geisler G
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This article argues that the recent rapid decline in agriculture in Zambia is due to a combination of decades of mismanagement and ill-conceived policies under structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), and assesses how these have affected the majority of the neglected small-scale farmers on whom food security so heavily depends. IMF/World Bank policies have not been popular in Zambia, and were blamed by the government for the country's economic decline. Yet Zambia has to date failed to implement any agreed strategy rigorously, and the on-again/off-again character of the reforms has made it almost impossible to assess the impact of the attempted structural adjustments. It has, however, been widely recognized that the social costs of adjustment measures are more heavily borne by those in the lowest income strata. The article deals in particular with the impact of adjustment on women, changes in patterns of cropping, and changes in incomes, allocations of time, and patterns of consumption. It also looks at future prospects, arguing that it remains to be seen if the policies of the new government will actually benefit the majority of peasant households. Notes, ref.

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  • Gisela Geisler

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