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World bank, 2015
Poverty headcount ratio at $2.15 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

The Zambian law allows the Ministry of Labour to set minimum wages by sector. 

National minimum wage

Equivalent to 2,726 Zambian Kwacha per worker per month.
Global Living Wage Coaliton, 2023

per month
Rural living wage
World bank, 2021
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2021
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2023
Systematic violation of rights.


Risk to workers' rights


Zambia has a population of approximately 19.5 million people.[1] The country is relatively equally populated in its urban and rural regions, which account for 45%[2] and 55%[3] of the population respectively. Agriculture is a major source of employment for the country as it assumes 59% of the workforce.[4] Yet, the sector accounts for only 3.4% of the national GDP.[5]

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.[6]

The top produced commodities in Zambia are sugar cane, cassava, maize, soybeans and cattle milk.[7] Zambia's top export commodities in terms of quantity are non-alcoholic beverages, soybeans, maize, and raw cane or beet sugar.[8] 

  1. ^ World Bank (2021).
  2. ^ World Bank (2021).
  3. ^ World Bank (2021).
  4. ^ World Bank (2021).
  5. ^ World Bank (2021).
  6. ^ [6] IFAD. Country Profiles: Zambia.
  7. ^ FAOSTAT (2021).
  8. ^ FAOSTAT (2021).


Minimum wage

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[1]. 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.[2] 

  1. ^ Wage Indicator Foundation (2023). Minimum Wage-Zambia.
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State. 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Zambia.

Living wage

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.[1] 

  1. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2022). Anker Living Wage Reference Value: Rural Zambia 2022.

What's happening


Living Wage Reference Value, Rural Zambia

Living income estimate for a typical family in rural Zambia to cover the monthly cost of a basic but decent standard of living. Global Living Wage Coalition. 


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