Abstract for: The Maize Value Chain in Zambia: Dynamics and Resilience Towards Production Shocks

Zambia’s food security largely depends on maize; and the maize value chain, as the sum of mechanisms that bring food “from farm to fork” is essential in ensuring this security. Facing expected structural maize deficits and the likely occurrence of shock events, a new framework for quantitatively measuring resilience properties using SD was devised and applied, relying on the comparison of key indicators between the base run and the respective shock scenario runs. Results show that the value chain is quite resilient towards floods and exchange rate shocks, moderately vulnerable towards changes in fertilizer subsidy programmes, and very vulnerable towards droughts, especially prolonged ones. In general, the resilience of the value chain towards one-time shocks is good due to the existence of maize buffer stocks that can be consumed when production is low. However, the value chain proves vulnerable towards faced two or more different shocks, as buffer stocks are quickly depleted and maize demand cannot be serviced any more. Resilience properties are strongly affected by demand adjustments of consumers in response to changing maize availability. The observed resilience properties can endogenously be improved using smart long-term maize storage policies that exploit surplus production years.