Jul 21, 2014 - Update

Juggling Labor, Credit, and Crops in Zambia

Post - The World Bank Jobs and Development Blog

By Kelsey Jack

“When one part of the local economy fails, it spills over into other parts of the economy. Maybe this isn’t so surprising. However, recent research in Zambia highlights a less obvious link: farmers who can’t get access to credit during the hungry season (January to March) increase their off-farm labor supply, drive down wages, and maybe even undermine their own agricultural yields. This matters greatly given that small-scale farming remains the primary source of income for the vast majority of the rural population in Zambia, with typically low levels of productivity and farming income. Fortunately, there is new evidence that providing consumption loans can help farmers invest in their own fields, and — we hope — boost their productivity…”