Action - Feed the Future: The U.S. Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative - Taxation and price policies - All population groups

Programme: Feed the Future: The U.S. Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative

Programme description

Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, is establishing a foundation for lasting progress against global hunger. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth that increases incomes and reduces hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. Feed the Future efforts are driven by country-led priorities and rooted in partnership with governments, donor organizations, the private sector, and civil society to enable long-term success. Feed the Future aims to assist millions of vulnerable women, children, and family members to escape hunger and poverty, while reaching significant numbers of children with highly effective nutrition interventions to prevent stunting and child mortality.

Over the next five years in Zambia, Feed the future aims to help an estimated 263,000 vulnerable Zambian women, children and family members—mostly smallholder farmers—escape hunger and poverty. More than 173,000 children will be reached with services to improve their nutrition and prevent stunting and child mortality. Significant numbers of additional rural populations will achieve improved income and nutritional status from strategic policy engagement and institutional investments.

To meet its objectives, Feed the Future Zambia is making core investments in four key areas:

1. Oilseeds, legumes, maize and horticulture value chains

  • Research on drought-tolerant maize, integrated legume systems, and aflatoxin-reduction in groundnuts
  • Improved marketing and commodity value-addition
  • Peri-urban smallholder horticulture market development through public-private partnerships

2. Enabling Environment

  • Analysis and advocacy to improve agriculture policy
  • Support for development and implementation of a comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Country Investment Plan

3. Economic Resilience

  • Improving household-level food security
  • Ensuring gender equity
  • Sustainable technologies/conservation agriculture for vulnerable households

4. Nutrition

  • Scaling Up Nutrition(SUN) efforts
  • Strengthened health and nutrition systems
  • Improved vitamin A-rich maize and sweet potatoes for vulnerable groups

Target Regions

Feed the Future is focusing its efforts in two areas: the Eastern Province, with a value chain focus on oilseeds, legumes and maize; and selected peri-urban districts near Lusaka, connecting to Eastern Province, with a particular focus on horticulture. 


Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process. Zambia’s CAADP Compact was signed in January 2011, and development of the Zambia CAADP Country Investment Plan has begun. Through this Compact the Government of the Republic of Zambia is committed to the following:

  • Agriculture marketing and credit acts
  • Fertilizer distribution reform, e-vouchers
  • Increasing private sector role

Diversification of staple crop production. Diversification of selected staple value chains will:

  • Lead to increased smallholders' productivity of all commodities, including maize
  • Increase income through higher value commodities and access to value-addition and export markets
  • Diversify diets and minimize risk of food scarcity
  • Contribute to a reduction in high rates of child undernutrition

Gender. The Zambia strategy strives to maximize the positive impact on female farmers and ensure equitable benefits for men and women by:

  • Ensuring women can participate in economic opportunities throughout the value chains
  • Preventing women from being displaced from the value chains with increased commercialization  
  • Ensuring farm technologies are appropriate for both men and women

Programme type




Start date:


End date:

Eastern Province
Target group: 
All population groups
Implementation details : 




As an additional key strategy component, FTF Zambia will support the development of favorable agriculture policy through policy research and advocacy for reform. For example, continued policy reform is needed for maize to be competitive in regional markets, including a consistent and open border policy; small government strategic reserve; price-band management; and, use of the e-voucher system in input provision. Another critical investment is support to the GRZ to advance and complete the CAADP process, i.e., by helping the government develop a realistic but ambitious Country Investment Plan.

Several important policy objectives will be supported by the USG toward creating an enabling environment to achieve FTF objectives. These include:

  • Reform subsidized farmer input support program to improve transparency and role of private sector
  • Promote dialogue and build capacity to support reform on biotechnology
  • Encourage predictable, rules-based market and trade policies (including elimination of import and export bans) Work with COMESA to harmonize regional trade policy Support alternatives to large-scale maize purchases by Food Reserve Agency (FRA), such as the Zambian Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE )
  • Encourage allocation of budget commitments under CAADP to support infrastructure and R&D, and to reduce government intervention
  • Promote reform that enables natural resource benefit-sharing between local government and local communities

USAID/Zambia has awarded a five-year project (2010-2015) that will assist stakeholders through a program of research, policy analysis, outreach, and training. Assistance provided will also support key agricultural policy stakeholders throughout the development and implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). The project, the Food Security Research Project (FSRP), will work closely with the Agricultural Consultative Forum (ACF), a Zambian NGO that provides a forum for policy dialogue, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MACO), the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development (MLFD), the Central Statistical Office (CSO), and other selected Zambian organizations.

The FSRP and ACF will take center stage in carrying out independent research to form the basis for developing and promoting supportive agricultural policy in Zambia. The ACF will also remain flexible to build capacity of other Zambian institutions that support the goal of improving fact-based agricultural and economic policy formulation in Zambia to nurture local capacity and local dissemination of knowledge to the public through commissioning and mentoring of local groups to undertake policy analysis. ACF and FSRP efforts in the past have addressed sound market-based principles through institutional capacity building and empirically-based policy research. Those efforts will be intensified to better support the GRZ’s implementation of its CAADP Investment Plan, which is a critical component of the FTF.

New USG funding in the project will be directed to three general activities – capacity building, more active outreach within and beyond the agricultural sector, and improvements in the quality of basic agricultural data emerging from CSO and MACO. This work will be undertaken in collaboration with other efforts to improvements overall data collection management of the CSO, particularly that being spearheaded by the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID). FTF will also fund training to support public and civil society leaders engaged in the CAADP process, as well as training of women scientists.

Key Enabling Environment Program Areas
Analytical Capacity for Improved Agricultural Policy in Zambia. Weak human and institutional capacity to analyze agricultural policy contributes to the politicization of agriculture in Zambia and a weak business climate for agricultural investment. FTF assistance will improve the analytical capacity of Zambian stakeholders. Stronger ―home-grown‖ analytical capacity and greater public outreach will lead to a greater understanding of key issues affecting agriculture by both the public at large and policy makers within the government. Informed technocrats within the government, backed by a supportive public opinion, should be able to convince political leaders to make sound decisions in agricultural policy.

New Project Directions. Emphasis will be on ―Zambianizing‖ the research capacity, which previously was not deep enough, due to limited finances and limited scope of local institutions. Increased high-level USG attention to food security issues demands a more thorough understanding of GRZ priorities and donor commitments in the sector. FSRP and ACF activities will provide the analytical basis for future US and other donor investments in the agricultural sector to combat hunger and poverty, which are aligned with the GRZ’s CAADP Compact.

Thematic And Operational Support of the CAADP Agenda. FSRP has supported the CAADP Compact process, ensuring that critical agricultural policy issues are, and will be, reflected in future policy planning and programming. FSRP support has ensured Zambian ownership of the CAADP framework, including its policies, programs, and targets. FSRP will work with policy makers and stakeholders as before, but with the added mandate of contributing to the peer review process that is part of the CAADP framework, focusing specifically on public resource allocation, investments and the implementation of policies that are the backbone of the CAADP process. FSRP will advocate that the CAADP process include a wide range of stakeholders with broad food security objectives across all four CAADP Pillars, and not result in a concentrated focus on agricultural productivity.

Political Will and Technical Capacity Building. For civil society, the press, government technocrats, and other groups to effectively influence policy, they need fact-based positions and up-to-date information from credible entities. It is therefore important, and an explicit objective of FSRP, to put fact-based information in front of the body politic. Political will shifts when confronted by an aware and informed electorate.

On-going Research Areas

  1. Overarching support through analysis, training, event management, etc. to the implementation of the CAADP Compact, and the development and implementation of the CAADP Country Investment Plan and the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP).
  2. Opportunities to bring the rural poor and women, into the growth agenda.
  3. Policy and programmatic priorities to facilitate smallholder access to high-value commodity markets.
  4. Strategies to collect and use empirical information about households, farmers, traders and markets in cooperation with key sector stakeholders in order to improve staple food markets, and food security in a regional context.
  5. Strategies to collect and use empirical information about households, farmers, traders and markets in cooperation with key sector stakeholders such as the GRZ, the private sector and civil society.
  6. Strategies to achieve more efficient use of purchased agricultural inputs.
  7. Rates of return to agricultural research, especially with respect to cassava and sweet potato.

New Potential Research Areas

  1. Evolving FTF priorities.
  2. Improving production and marketing estimates for both large-scale and smallholder farm sectors to fully understand the Zambian agricultural sector.
  3. Assessing opportunities for improved performance in the livestock and feed sectors in order to support the development and upgrading of legume and oilseed value chains.
  4. Analyzing policy options to address the impacts of higher and potentially more unstable food and fertilizer prices in Zambia.
  5. Increasing analysis of Conservation Farming (CA) technologies and constraints to further adoption.




Outcome indicator(s): 


M&E system: 





USAID/Zambia will monitor and evaluate programs and activities throughout the strategy period to ensure that those investments are achieving objectives and maximizing returns to investments. Though many of the investments will be managed and monitored primarily by USAID, some investments will originate from other USG agencies and by government, donors, or the private sector. The Zambia CAADP Country Investment Plan will provide a framework for the development of a more comprehensive national effort in agriculture and poverty reduction that will be supported through the USG FTF effort. CAADP monitoring is addressed below. The M&E framework for the USG FTF strategy outlined in this section will be inclusive and involve all government agencies investing in FTF areas, particularly in the FTF priority geographic area, Eastern province.

The geographic focus, co-location of investments, and the timing of the initiation of new investments provide the opportunity to establish a solid impact assessment framework as well. USAID/Zambia’s approach to monitoring and evaluation will be comprised of three components:

  1. project-level reporting;
  2. performance management/monitoring and evaluation; and,
  3. external impact assessment to capture the aggregate impact of all investments and the relative contribution of different interventions to the extent feasible.

The FTF strategy will be implemented primarily through two of the USAID/Zambia CDCS Development Objectives (DO) and will meet the requirements of CDCS Development Objectives:

  1. engage in ""rigorous"" impact evaluations; and
  2. build local capacity for monitoring and evaluation.

The USAID/Zambia Mission has committed to implementing the operational research, managing for results, evaluation and local capacity-building model in its CDCS, and this will apply as well to FTF.

The FTF Performance Monitoring Plan will include indicators measuring progress towards achieving results at all levels. For each indicator, the data source and methodology, baseline, targets, and a calendar of performance management tasks, including a schedule for data collection, will be included. The selection of indicators to include in the PMP will be driven by ongoing and planned activities, the availability of baseline, and provisions made to ensure availability of data for the reference reporting period.

To monitor performance, the Mission will establish baselines and collect data for standard and customized indicators to track whether desired results are occurring and whether performance is on target. All programs receiving FTF resources will be expected to develop monitoring and evaluation strategies that are consistent with the USG Zambia’s FTF framework.

Initial stakeholder workshops will be held for the purposes of

  1. reaching an agreement on indicator definitions to ensure consistency;
  2. defining and communicating project-specific collection and reporting responsibilities;
  3. generating an understanding of the higher-level objectives of the strategy; and the relative contributions by the specific projects,
  4. communicating periodicity and responsibility for reporting. Each project will report on appropriate standard and custom performance indicators, which will be aggregated across the entire investment portfolio. Data quality assessments will be conducted regularly to ensure consistency and completeness. Data collected through monitoring will be used for periodic reports to stakeholders.

Given that FTF has the intention to work with a broader range of partners, including local organizations, it is expected that some partners will have more limited reporting capacity. These organizations will need greater assistance, and it may be necessary to delegate the responsibility for some monitoring and reporting to external entities.

For higher level objectives, tracking performance will be beyond the manageable interest of individual projects. In particular, changes in incomes, nutritional status, and some community-level variables among others will be more appropriately measured across the program areas. The FTF Team is developing a consortium of stakeholders to assess existing data sources, and intends to identify an external entity to coordinate baseline and periodic data collection for specific indicators.
An FTF M&E plan will be finalized by the end of Fiscal Year 2011, outlining all indicators and the reporting responsibilities by all USAID/Zambia’s partners. Key FTF required indicators to be tracked and reported are listed in Annex B. Additional project-specific and other relevant indicators not included in the FTF required indicators will be added. It is important to note that all appropriate indicators will be sex-disaggregated.

In line with the new evaluation policy, the FTF program intends to conduct a number of performance evaluations and impact evaluations. Evaluations of two programs closing in 2011, PROFIT and C-FAARM, will be useful for the FTF learning agenda. The USG FTF has a unique opportunity with a defined geographic focus and the initiation of new activities to establish an impact assessment framework to assess high level impact, as well as to identify the relative contribution of different intervention, such as value chain upgrading versus household level management skills. USAID/Zambia will work with partners and other agencies to develop an impact assessment methodology that is consistent with and contributes to the project performance monitoring framework, but will also test several development hypotheses.
An initial baseline survey will be conducted in Eastern province to establish current levels of key variables including incomes, nutritional status, household production and asset patterns, and agriculture technology levels. This baseline will draw from the latest survey methodologies, particularly recent work on gender and asset control24. An appropriate sampling framework will be established to assess impact, most likely on a biannual basis. A randomized approach will be considered for a sub-sample to maintain the integrity of the impact assessment; however, flexibility will be needed to consider mid-term correction in order to ensure the greatest impact over the period of the strategy.

In the context of the development challenges and opportunities identified in Zambia and outlined in Section 1.1, several development hypotheses are of interest for the impact assessment. In particular, the relative contribution will be assessed of community-level versus household-level interventions to reducing poverty and undernutrition, as well as the additional value of the co-location of interventions. Another hypothesis of interest to be tested is: By increasing productivity, improving household food security and linking smallholders to markets for agriculture commodities, FTF interventions will reduce the incentives for exploiting the natural resource base.

Performance Evaluation
The FTF program will schedule performance evaluations to focus on descriptive and normative questions including: project or program achievements (either at an intermediate point in execution or at the conclusion of an implementation period); program implementation; program perception and value; and other questions pertinent to program design, management and operational decision-making. These performance evaluations will incorporate before-after comparisons whenever feasible.

Impact Evaluation
The FTF program will conduct impact evaluations to measure the change in development outcomes attributable to FTF interventions. Impact evaluations will be based on cause-effect models and will require a credible and rigorously-defined counterfactual control. Impact evaluations with treatment and control groups help provide the strongest evidence of a relationship between interventions and measured outcomes. One hypothesis to be explored includes identifying increased benefits from combined interventions, particularly income-augmenting and nutrition-related activities. In the nutrition portfolio, the differential effect of geographically co-locating health programs active in nutrition with agriculture programs working on the productivity and diversity side of the nutrition equation can be tested.

USAID/Zambia has provided extensive support to the Government of Zambia in monitoring the agricultural sector, and in analyzing government data through the Food Security Research Project (FSRP). This support will continue and can be drawn upon to monitor agricultural trends. In addition, FSRP has expertise in analyzing surveys such as the biannual Living Conditions Monitoring Survey (LCMS) which tracks poverty levels, and the Supplemental Surveys, which provide quality agricultural data. This expertise can be leveraged for improved performance monitoring by the GRZ, as well as for FTF performance.

The CAADP framework focuses largely on performance in the agricultural sector. For national performance toward other MDGs, particularly those related to nutrition and gender impacts, the FTF team will work with additional partners to identify appropriate data sources and performance monitoring modalities. For example, the Nutrition Cooperating Partners sub-group may be instrumental in the creation of a data monitoring platform according to the SUN Movement principles. However, the Zambia FTF framework will focus its efforts largely on performance for the targeted FTF areas and the contribution of these changes to national levels.





Outcome reported by social determinants: 
Vulnerable groups

Revision log

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 16:16bloessnermEdited by william_nkoom.published
Thu, 03/21/2013 - 11:01william_nkoomEdited by william_nkoom.draft