The Agriculture sector is one of Zambia most important economic sectors. The sector supports the livelihood of approximately 70% of Zambians and accounts for around 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Activities in the sector are guided by a sectorial policy, the First being the 2004 – 2015 National Agricultural Policy (NAP). The First NAP 2004 – 2015 focused on improving production in the Agriculture sector. During the first NAP period, production increased significantly in all the agricultural sub-sectors as revealed in Situational Analysis, however, there was minimal improvement in productivity. The lack of investment in Research and Development (R&D), technology and weak extension services have been identified as key factors affecting productivity.
The launch of the Second National Agricultural Policy (NAP) 2016 -2020 seeks to address the challenges faced during the implementation of the First NAP. The Second NAP has shorter duration of 5 years compared to the First NAP that ran for 12 years. The shorter duration conforms to standard policy durations of 5 years, further, the reduced time periods provides for better monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The Second NAP focuses on ten strategic objectives that include objectives promoting productivity, promoting R&D, strengthening training, promoting markets (inputs and outputs), private sector participation, nutrition and food security.