While Zambia’s is undergoing rapid development, it still faces food security challenges, but a joint research project is looking at how these can be tackled, looking forward to how countries in southern Africa can achieve sustainable forms of development, as envisaged by the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As you drive around the Zambian capital, Lusaka, you can’t miss to notice that Zambia is developing fast. The business district is full of what look like new shopping malls, supermarkets and international chain hotels. Further out, the roadsides are lined with roadworks, earthmovers and construction workers. One billboard after another urges “Want water? – Drill a borehole!” – a sign of activity, but also a reminder of the scale of the infrastructure development challenges much of the country still faces.
We visited Zambia in November 2014, on a mission to observe the food security challenges the country faces, and the conditions and possible strategies for improving food access, availability, use and stability. Despite the evident increases in gross domestic product (GDP) in Zambia, and the frenetic activity we could see around Lusaka, the FAO (2014) estimates that 48.3% of ordinary Zambians are malnourished. The ramifications of such widespread malnutrition of course spread all through society.