Assessment of the emerging impact of covid-19 pandemic on small-scale poultry farmers in Zambia

  • Olabisi John Agboola World Hunger Fighters Foundation
  • Kolawole Odubote Zambia Academy of Sciences
  • Metti Richenhagen AGCO Agriculture Foundation, Atlanta, USA
Keywords: Poultry, covid-19, small-scale, farmers, marketing system, demand, supply


The covid-19 pandemic has been reported to have disrupted the food systems globally, thereby, negatively affecting production of agricultural commodities. This study was carried out to examine the emerging impact of the pandemic on small-scale poultry farmers in Lusaka Province, Zambia. Questionnaires were administered to 100 farmers in Chongwe rural area (Lusaka city sub-hub) to collect information on socio-economic characteristics, poultry production system, impact of covid-19 on poultry operations and coping mechanisms instituted. The data collected were subjected to descriptive and correlation analysis. The research findings revealed that the pandemic has a significant negative impact on the small-scale poultry farmer access to feed availability, vaccines and day old chicks. Similarly, the pandemic had a significant impact on market availability, accessibility and the purchasing power of the consumers. The research also indicated that a significant positive correlation exist between difficulties in accessing essential inputs for poultry productivity and the coping strategy that the poultry farmer adopted. The study concluded that farmers experienced a great effect of the pandemic on their poultry business due to the restriction imposed by government which caused inaccessibility of input supplies and market for the sales of birds. While the government provided financial incentives to some industrial and commercial entities, most small-scale farmers in this study did not benefit from the scheme. This shows that the government is more focused on industrial entities rather than small-scale farmers and producers. The study suggested mitigating strategies such as facilitating access to production inputs, market linkages and financial assistance (soft loans, grants, relief etc.) for small-scale poultry producers to build a resilient poultry system and cope with the emerging challenges covid-19 imposed on the poultry industry.


Adene, D. F., and A. E. Oguntade. (2006). Poultry Sector Country Review- Nigeria, 1–95. Rome: FAO Animal Production and Health Livestock Country Reviews.
Adesina, O.S. and Loboguerrero, A.M. (2020). Enhancing Food Security through Climate- Smart Agriculture and Sustainable Policy in Nigeria. In: Leal Filho, W., et al. eds. Handbook of Climate Change Management: Research, Leadership, and Transformation. Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp.1-17.
Béné, C. (2020). Resilience of local food systems and links to food security—A review of some important concepts in the context of covid-19 and other shocks. Food Security, 12, 1–18. [CrossRef]
Biswal, J., Vijayalakshmy, K. and Rahman, H. (2020). Impact of covid-19 and associated lockdown on livestock and poultry sectors in India. Veterinary World, 13, 1928. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Bordi, D., Knowles, M. and Sitko, N. (2021). Assessing the Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of rural people: A review of the evidence.
Chongwe District Council, CDC. (2006). Report on base line data for water consumption and utilisation, Prepared for d-washe. Available from: [Accessed 9th November, 2021].
Chrispin, M. and Munguzwe H (2021). A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of covid-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zambia. APRA covid-19 Country Report, June 2021
Das, P.K, and Samanta, I. (2021). Role of backyard poultry in south-east Asian countries: Post covid-19 perspective. World Poultry. Science Journal, 1–12. [CrossRef]
Deeh, P.B.D., Kayri, V., Orhan, C. and Sahin, K. (2020). Status of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) and animal production. Front. Vet. Sci, 7, 586919. [CrossRef]
Demographic Health Survey Summary Report (2018). Lusaka, Zambia: Zambia Statistics Agency, MOH, and ICF
FAO (2020). Coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) | Addressing the impacts of covid-19 in food crises (April–December 2020) – May update. Rome.
FAO (2021). Impacts of covid-19 on Food Security and Nutrition: Developing Effective Policy Responses to Address the Hunger and Malnutrition Pandemic. 2021. Available online: (accessed on 9 November 2021).
Government of Zambia. (2015). 2016 Budget Address by Hon. Alexander B. Chikwanda M.P., Minister of Finance. Delivered to the National Assembly on October 9, 2015.
Guèye, E. Fallou. (2002). Employment and income generation through family poultry in low-income food-deficit countries. Worlds Poultry Science Journal - WORLD POULTRY SCI J. 58. 541-557. 10.1079/WPS20020039.
Hafez, H.M. and Attia, Y.A. (2020). Challenges to the poultry industry: Current perspectives and strategic future after the covid-19 outbreak. Front. Vet. Sci, 7, 516. [CrossRef]
Hashem, N.M., González-Bulnes, A. and Rodriguez-Morales, A.J. (2020). Animal welfare and livestock supply chain sustainability under the COVID-19 outbreak: An overview. Front. Vet. Sci, 7, 679. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hatab, A.; Krautscheid, L.; Boqvist, S (2021). COVID-19, Livestock Systems and Food Security in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review of an Emerging Literature. Pathogens 2021, 10, 586. pathogens10050586
Hatab, A.A., Lagerkvist, C.J., and Esmat, A. (2021). Risk perception and determinants in small-and medium-sized agri-food enterprises amidst the covid-19 pandemic: Evidence from Egypt. Agribusiness, 37, 187–212. [CrossRef]
Hobbs, E.C., Colling, A., Gurung, R.B. and Allen, J. (2020). The potential of diagnostic point-of-care tests (POCTs) for infectious and zoonotic animal diseases in developing countries: Technical, regulatory and sociocultural considerations. Transbound. Emerg. Dis. [CrossRef]
Hossain, M.F., Hasana, S., Mamun, A.A., Uddin, M.S., Wahed, M.I.I., Sarker, S., Behl, T., Ullah, I., Begum, Y. and Bulbul, I.J. (2020). Covid-19 outbreak: Pathogenesis, current therapies, and potentials for future management. Front. Pharmacol, 11, 563478. [CrossRef]
Hossain, S.T. (2018). Impacts of covid-19 on the agri-food sector: Food security policies of Asian productivity organization members. 2018. Available online: (accessed on 9 November 2021).
Hussain, S., Hussain, A., Ho, J., Sparagano, O.A, and Zia, U.R. (2020). Economic and social impacts of covid-19 on animal welfare and dairy husbandry in central Punjab, Pakistan. Front. Vet. Sci, 7, 589971. [CrossRef]

Inonge Milupi, D., (2020). "Women and Natural Resource Conservation: A Study of Chongwe District, Zambia" International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE), 7(3), pp. 22-30. doi:
Joseph Mulema, Idah Mugambi, Monica Kansiime, Hong Twu Chan, Michael Chimalizeni, Thi Xuan Pham & George Oduor (2021) Barriers and opportunities for the youth engagement in agribusiness: empirical evidence from Zambia and Vietnam, Development in Practice, 31:5, 690-706, DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2021.1911949

Kabir, M.T., Uddin, M.S., Hossain, M.F., Abdulhakim, J.A., Alam, M.A., Ashraf, G.M., Bungau, S.G., Bin-Jumah, M.N., Abdel- Daim, M.M, and Aleya, L. (2020). Covid- 19 pandemic: from molecular pathogenesis to potential investigational therapeutics. Front. Cell Dev. Biol, 8, 616. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kansiime, M.K., Tambo, J.A., Mugambi, I., Bundi, M., Kara, A. and Owuor, C. (2021). Covid-19 implications on household income and food security in Kenya and Uganda: Findings from a rapid assessment. World Development, 137, 105199. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Maples, J. G., Thompson, J. M., Anderson, J. D., & Anderson, D. P. (2020). Estimating COVID ‐19 Impacts on the Broiler Industry. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 43(1), 315–328.
Matenga, C. and Hichaambwa, M., (2021). A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of covid-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zambia.
Nhemachena, C and Murwisi, K. (2020). A rapid analysis of impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on selected food value chains in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Samboko, P., Zulu, O. and Chapoto, A. (2018). Analysis of the animal feed to poultry value chain in Zambia. Development Southern Africa. 1-18. 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1480932.
Sudha, B. K, and Teresa, P. (2017). Zambia Jobs in Value Chains: Opportunities in Agribusiness. World Bank, Washington, DC. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Uddin, M.N., Alam, B., Islam, S.S., Arif, M., Alam, M.M, and Kabir, S.L. (2020). Impact of covid-19 on food safety and security in low and middle income countries. Asian J. Med. Biol. Res, 6, 130–137. [CrossRef]
WFP. (2020). Impact of covid-19 Outbreak on Livelihoods, Food Security and Nutrition in East Africa. 2020. Available online: 19-outbreak-livelihoods-food-security-and-nutrition-east-africa-release-20 (accessed on 20 December 2021).
How to Cite
Agboola O, Odubote K, Richenhagen M. Assessment of the emerging impact of covid-19 pandemic on small-scale poultry farmers in Zambia. University of Zambia Journal of Agricultural and Biomedical Sciences [Internet]. 6Jul.2022 [cited 25Jul.2024];5(4). Available from:
Agriculture Sciences