Rural Life and Agriculture - Worksheet - Agriculture [ Biz/ed Virtual Developing Country ]


The economy of Zambia is very dependent on its agricultural sector to produce food for domestic consumption and for the production of cash crops for export. Although copper is the country's chief export, increasingly non traditional commodities such as floriculture and horticulture are developing in importance. However, many people rely on the food they grow to feed their families. For more detail you may want to work through the Rural Life and Agriculture field trip before trying this worksheet.

Step 1

1. For the year 1997, use the resources section to find the:

a) % of GDP accounted for by agriculture accounts

b) % of the total labour force that are employed in the agricultural sector

2. Complete the following table using a GDP data set from the resources section:

  Agriculture as a % of GDP GDP per capita
France 2  
India 25  
Japan 2  
Kenya 29  
Netherlands 2  
Switzerland 2  
United Kingdom 2  
United States 2  

3. In the data above is there a relationship between the Agriculture as a % of GDP and GDP per capita? Can you suggest a reason why this might be?

Much of Zambia agricultural production is produced and consumed within the village or community. This is called subsistence production as opposed to cash cropping.

4. Write down two advantages and two disadvantages of subsistence agricultural production and cash crop production.

Step 2

1. Examine the series of photographs showing small-scale farming practices. Can you suggest three reasons why the level of productivity might be low?

2. In each case can you suggest possible ways that the village can increase levels of productivity and some of the barriers that would prevent this from being achieved?

Step 3

1. Consider the data in the resources section for agricultural production for selected cash crops. Using an appropriate type of graph, plot the output for Maize, Cotton and Sorghum (you may want to use a spreadsheet package to do this).

2. Describe what has happened to the output of maize. In your trip to Monze and Kasame what reasons did you come across that might explain this trend? Can you provide any evidence from the agricultural data sets for the explanations that you give?

3. Which of these crops has seen the greatest increase in output from 1989 to 1997. Why have these shown a contrasting trend to that of Maize?

Step 4

Some small and larger commercial farms have diversified into the production of cut flowers and exporting them to Europe. Consider the data in the resources section showing the contribution that Zambian exports make to the total European Union Consumption.

1. Calculate the % of total imports into the European Union that Zambia's cutflower industry accounted for in 1991 and again in 1995. Explain what has happened to this proportion.

2. For Zambia this is very much an infant industry. What might give Zambia a comparative advantage in the production of cutflowers?

3. Why are the government and multilateral donors such as the World Bank encouraging the growth of non traditional exports such as floriculture?

Read the theory section on infant industries and consider the policies that the government of Zambia could introduce to encourage this growth sector of the economy.

4. Why might it be reluctant to introduce these measures?