The Contribution of the Agricultural Food Security Pack Programme to Beneficiary Households in Zambia: A Case Study of Mpulungu District




food security, vulnerable farmers, food security pack programme, agriculture


Small-scale farming provides most of the food produced in Southern Africa. Unfortunately, most vulnerable-but-viable small-scale farmers in Zambia are affected by household food insecurity despite the Zambian government providing them with farming inputs under the food security pack programme. This study investigated the effects of the programme on maize crop production among 147 vulnerable-but-viable farming households in Mpulungu District, using a mixed-methods approach. The study results revealed improved land cultivation, maize crop productivity and access to food by family members after respondents entered the programme. These results imply that the programme contributed positively to the achievement of the aforementioned positive successes, despite the beneficiaries receiving farming inputs late, i.e., outside the planting period. Notwithstanding the many positive effects achieved by the programme, there were some challenges, namely, the late receipt of farming inputs by most beneficiaries, failure by the Zambian government to release timely funds to suppliers of farming inputs, imposition of some male beneficiaries into the programme by politicians, and low literacy levels among most beneficiaries. The study concludes that despite the challenges encountered in the programme implementation, the food security pack programme had positive effects on maize crop production among most of the benefiting vulnerable-but-viable small-scale farmers in Mpulungu District. Therefore, the study recommends scaling up the programme and increasing the number of programme beneficiaries, timely distribution of inputs and budget profiling by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services — a lead ministry for implementing the programme.


Metrics Loading ...


Bahta, Y. T., B. J. Willemse, and B. Grove. 2014. “The Role of Agriculture in Welfare, Income Distribution and Economic Development of the Free State Province of South Africa: A CGE Approach.” Agricultural Economics Research, Policy and Practice in Southern Africa 53 (1): 46–74. DOI:

Bradley, D., J. Wilson, and R. T. Goins. 2008. “The Aging Farm Population and Rural Aging.” Journal of Agromedicine 13 (2): 95–109. DOI:

Christiaensen, L. 2017. “Agriculture in Africa —Telling Myths from Facts: A Synthesis.” Food Policy 67: 1–11. DOI:

Creswell, J. D.2017. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approach. Thousand Oaks: SAGE. DOI:

Davis, K. F., M. C. Rulli, A. Seveso, and P. D’Odorico. 2016. “Meeting Future Food Demand with Current Agricultural Resources.” Global Environmental Change 39: 125–32. DOI:

De Cock, N., M. D’Haese, N. Vink, C. Van Rooyen, L. Staelens, H. Schonfeldt, and L. D’Haese. 2013. “Food Security in Rural Areas of Limpopo Province, South Africa.” Food Security 5: 269–82. DOI:

Food and Agriculture Organization. 2018. The State of Food Security in the World: Building Climate Resilience for Food Security and Nutrition. Rome: FAO.

Flick, U. 2014. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis. Thousand Oaks: SAGE. DOI:

Gabriele, G., H. Richard, and E. L. Barton. 2021. “Political Capital.” The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 38 (3): 632–74. DOI:

Glen, S. 2020. “Elementary Statistics for the Rest of Us.” Accessed December 7, 2021.

Goma, A.2012. “Seasonal Household Food Insecurity: The Case of the Lake Tanganyika Basin Community in Mpulungu District in Northern Province of Zambia.” MA diss., Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences.

International Trade Administration. 2022. “Zambia: Agriculture — Country Commercial Guide.” Accessed October 30, 2022.

James, C. 2011. Theory of Change Review: A Report Commissioned by Comic Relief. London: Comic Relief.

Kafula, S. C. 2017. “The Food Security Pack Programme and Food Security in Zambia: Views from Female-Headed Households in Kabwe District.” Accessed July 15, 2022.

Kodamaya, S. 2011. “Agricultural Policies and Food Security of Smallholder Farmers in Zambia.” African Study Monographs 42: 19–39.

Kodamaya, S. 2015. “Fertilizers and Irrigated Agriculture to Improve Food Security for Smallholder Farmers: A Case Study of a Rural Village in Zambia’s Central Province.” Geography Quarterly 66 (4): 239–54. DOI:

Lury, C. 2018. Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods. London: Routledge. DOI:

Malawi Red Cross Society. 2012. “A Diversified Approach to Fighting Food Insecurity and Rural Poverty in Malawi.” Accessed December 17, 2021.

Markow, K., S. Booth, S. Savio, and J. Coveney. 2014. “Improving Access to Community-based Food Systems: Comparing Perspectives of Low Socio-economic Individuals and Food System Representatives.” Nutrition and Dietary 73: 19–27. DOI:

Mason, R., P. Ndlovu, J. R. Parkins, and M. K. Luckert. 2015. “Determinants of Food Security in Tanzania: Gendered Dimensions of Household Headship and Control of Resources.” Agricultural Human Values 32: 539–49. DOI:

Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS). 2021. “Food Security Pack Programme in Zambia.” Accessed October 13, 2022.

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. 2009. Recipe Book on Traditional Zambian Foods. Lusaka: MACO. Accessed October 17, 2022.

Nkomoki, W., M. Bavorova, and J. Banout. 2019. “Factors Associated with Household Food Security in Zambia.” Sustainability 11 (9): 2715. DOI:

Nyagumbo, I., S. Mkuhlani, W. Mupangwa, and D. Rodriguez. 2017. “Planting Date and Yield Benefits from Conservation Agriculture Practices across Southern Africa.” Agricultural Systems 150: 21–33. DOI:

Pavlovskaya, I. G. 2022. “Factors Influencing the Food Security of the State.” Economic Horizons 2 (20): 111–24. DOI:

Phelan, S. 2011. “Case Study Research: Design and Methods.” Evaluation and Research in Education 24 (3): 221–22. DOI:

Urassa, J. 2015. “Factors Influencing Maize Crop Production at Household Levels: A Case of Rukwa Region in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.” African Journal of Agricultural Research 10 (10): 1097–106. DOI:

Valters, C. 2015. Theories of Change: Time for a Radical Change Approach to Learning in Development. London: Overseas Development Institute.

Weather Spark. 2022. “Average Weather in Mpulungu, Zambia.” Accessed July 4, 2022. Sections-Precipitation.

Wen, P., and M. B. Elliot. 2019. “The Concept of Food Security.” Encyclopaedia of Food Security and Sustainability 2: 1–7. DOI:

World Bank. 2021. “World Bank Staff Estimates Based on the United Nations Population Division’s World Urbanization Prospects: 2018 Revision.” Accessed October 30, 2022.

Zambia Agriculture Research Institute. 2017. Improving Small-Scale Farmer Productivity through Collaborative Research and Development. Chilanga: ZARI.

Zambia Red Cross Society. 2016. “Cost-Benefit Analysis Study: Zambezi Region Livelihoods Preparedness Intervention.” Accessed October 26, 2022.



How to Cite

Tembo, Royd. “The Contribution of the Agricultural Food Security Pack Programme to Beneficiary Households in Zambia: A Case Study of Mpulungu District”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development, 19 pages.



Received 2023-07-24
Accepted 2023-08-27
Published 2024-02-20