Social Protection in Africa

Social Protection in Africa

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

The purpose of this book is to make accessible to a broad audience the ideas, principles and practicalities of establishing effective social protection in Africa. It focuses on the major shift in strategy for tackling hunger and vulnerability, from emergency responses mainly in the form of food transfers to predictable cash transfers to the chronically poorest social groups. The diverse case studies in this book provide a unique and timely exploration of the effective, and less effective, ways that social transfers are delivered to the chronically poor and vulnerable in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chapter 22: Case Study 12. Food Security Pack, Zambia

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

Subjects: development studies, development studies, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, social policy in emerging countries


OVERVIEW The Food Security Pack (FSP) was initiated in the 2000/01 agricultural season as a Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) funded programme covering all the country’s 72 agricultural districts. A national food security NGO established in 1992, the Programme Against Malnutrition (PAM) is the lead implementing agency for FSP. PAM distributes farm input packs to districts and beneficiaries utilizing a network of district-based NGOs. FSP targets ‘vulnerable but viable’ farm households, defined according to a set of multiple criteria. FSP initially set out with ten objectives and four modalities for achieving those objectives. However, only the key ones of these have ever been met, and these may be summarized as (i) to provide a basic level of farm inputs to households that have lost the ability to source such inputs themselves, (ii) to encourage crop diversification in farmers’ fields, and (iii) to promote conservation farming practices in Zambian smallholder farming (Tembo, 2007). Originally planned to last three years, FSP is still running after seven years, albeit at a greatly reduced scale. The original concept was to attain a beneficiary level of 200 000 households each year, most of these ‘graduating’ out of the scheme after two years. However, having reached 145 000 by 2003/04, actual beneficiary numbers fell precipitously, averaging only 26 000 from 2004/05 to 2006/07. With beneficiaries receiving packs for one to three successive years, the net number of unique beneficiaries reached by the programme over its seven-year duration...

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