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Monday, 5 March 2012

Debt Watch (World Bank), 2nd Edition

The World Bank has recently agreed to lend Zambia US $50 million  for development of livestock production systems for smallholder producers in Eastern, Southern and Western provinces. The project will also cover the implementation of Disease Free Zones in Central, Lusaka and parts of Copperbelt provinces. The World Bank view this credit as part of  aiding the diversification process away from  heavy reliance on copper mining and maize production alone. More detail via The Post.


  1. This will be good if any of it actually reaches farmers. What happened with the previous restocking programe was this: Half the money budgeted (K900 million) was never released. Half the money released was used to renovate the PS's house and the DC's house. The reamining quarter was used for restocking cattle. Farmers got 2 heifers each. Politicians and Chiefs got 20 or more. Nobody ever repaid because there was no money left for follow up. Net benefit to farmers was about 10% of what it should have been.

    1. Henson, while I agree that to be the possibility more likely than not.. however, is there any evidence to that effect?.

      My general experience would point to the fact that the problem often lies in the management of the loan itself. If the WB can provide some element of oversight in the administration and perhaps streamline the whole process in partnership with the govt then it may reach target and reap the desired benefits. Thinking aloud here..there must be some stringent conditions attached to this effect.

    2. The above report is based on the auditor general's report and personal knowledge. It is not theory but fact.
      I have not been impressed with previous world bank funded projects. Too expensive and too little input from people with local expertise.
      The chance of the same scenario happening again is quite high. It would be more cost effective to deal with farmers contraints. Poor rural roads, lack of access to finance, lack of title to land, defunct extension system, poor education, poor access to research results etc etc etc.


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