Poverty headcount ratio at $2.15 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
The Zambian law allows the Ministry of Labour to set minimum wages by sector.
Equivalent to 2,726 Zambian Kwacha per worker per month.
Global Living Wage Coaliton, 2023
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Zambia has a population of approximately 19.5 million people. The country is relatively equally populated in its urban and rural regions, which account for 45% and 55% of the population respectively. Agriculture is a major source of employment for the country as it assumes 59% of the workforce. Yet, the sector accounts for only 3.4% of the national GDP.
The economy in Zambia is mainly dependent on copper. Although Zambia's agricultural sector employs more than half of the national workforce, its contribution to GDP has been gradually declining: in 2008, it was 12.2%. Smallholder yields have remained low since the beginning of the millennium, and sectoral growth averaged only around 2% annually for much of this period. The most commonly cited reason for poverty in rural areas is the inability to afford agricultural inputs and the lack of capital to start up or expand farms. The high cost of inputs, poor rural infrastructure, lack of oxen for ploughing, and the absence of rural financial services (apart from limited community-based schemes) make it difficult for smallholders to access needed resources.
The top produced commodities in Zambia are sugar cane, cassava, maize, soybeans and cattle milk. Zambia's top export commodities in terms of quantity are non-alcoholic beverages, soybeans, maize, and raw cane or beet sugar.
The Zambian law allows the Ministry of Labour to set minimum wages by sector. The category of employment determines the minimum wage and conditions of employment. The minimum wage starts at 840.00 Zambian Kwacha (44 EUR) for domestic workers per month, but no value for agricultural workers is specified. Except for an updated minimum wage order for truck and bus drivers, minimum wages were last revised in 2019 and were at the official poverty income level.
The Anker Living Wage reference value in rural Zambia is estimated at 2,726 Zambian Kwacha (143 EUR) per worker per month. This is the wage required for workers in a typical rural area of Zambia to afford a basic but decent standard of living.