Cattle marketing in Zambia, 1965-1995: Policies, Institutions and Cattle Owners in Western Province

H.A.J. Moll, C.E. Dietvorst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Increasing the offtake from cattle grazed on natural rangelands has been the policy of many African governments for reasons of (a) natural resource management, (b) improving farmers’ welfare, and (c) increasing overall productivity. This chapter focuses on (a) the Zambian government’s policies in cattle marketing over the period from independence in 1965 to 1995 and (b) the marketing behaviour of cattle owners in Western Province. In this period the policies shifted from supporting monopolistic public marketing institutions to allowing private traders to take over all marketing functions with the discontinuation of the ailing public institutions. Attention is also paid to other factors affecting cattle marketing, such as infrastructural development and outbreaks of disease.

Marketing policies and other factors are compared with Western Province data on (a) registered offtake, i.e. the sale of animals for the urban consumers’ market, and (b) herd growth. The analysis shows a fluctuating, but significantly rising annual registered offtake rate, reaching 4.4 per cent in 1995. The provincial or macro perspective on cattle marketing is complemented by a study of the cattle owners’ views on the sale of cattle. Data collection through a survey of 122 households took place in 1991. The analysis shows that people are only selling cattle if they have urgent requirements for substantial amounts of cash. One variable affects the propensity to sell: household self-sufficiency in crop production. The herd size does not affect the cattle owner’s propensity to sell.

Finally, conclusions are drawn regarding the long-term effects of government policies on cattle marketing at a provincial level and on the sales behaviour of cattle owners. The combination of the two research perspectives provides an illuminating comparison. Apparently, the time horizon of the research affects the conclusions: micro data, collected at a certain point in time, suggest a widespread reluctance to sell cattle among cattle owners, while macro data, covering a period of thirty years, show an increasing propensity to sell.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgricultural Marketing in Tropical Africa
EditorsH. Laurens van der Laan, Tjalling Dijkstra, Aad van Tilburg
Place of PublicationAldershot
ISBN (Electronic)9780429460265
ISBN (Print)9781138624986
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cattle marketing in Zambia, 1965-1995: Policies, Institutions and Cattle Owners in Western Province'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Moll, H. A. J., & Dietvorst, C. E. (1999). Cattle marketing in Zambia, 1965-1995: Policies, Institutions and Cattle Owners in Western Province. In H. Laurens van der Laan, T. Dijkstra, & A. van Tilburg (Eds.), Agricultural Marketing in Tropical Africa (pp. 185-203). Ashgate.