Planning of Luswishi farm block and its impact on ‘city-region’ in Copperbelt province, Zambia.
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The Government of the Republic of Zambia has been implementing a number of rural development programs through agricultural strategies but statistics indicate that there is serious rural-urban divide in terms of poverty levels. This poses a suspicion that planning approaches and interventions in these rural development programs have not been producing desired results. Hence, the study aimed at examining how regional planning approaches influenced the stimulation of linkages between Luswishi farm block and the „City-region‟ (i.e. Lufwanyama, Kalulushi, Kitwe and Ndola districts). The objectives of the research were to examine planning policies that shaped the development of Luswishi farm block, to examine the resulting linkages between the farm block and the „City-region‟, and to examine the institutional challenges in the development of the farm block. Twenty-nine (29) respondents were selected from within the „City-region‟ for interviews using purposive sampling method. These respondents include; government institutions, private investors, Ward Development Committees and farmer organisations situated within and outside the farm block were selected for interviews. Observations, documents from these organisations, literature on rural-urban linkages and data from Central Statistical Office (CSO) were used. The research focused on aspects of planning principles, regional development policies, institutional framework and resulting rural-urban linkages. Policy effectiveness was examined by looking at its availability, its detailed guidance on regional planning and implementation. Impacts on the City-region were examined through identification of resulting rural-urban linkages in terms of five types of flows; i.e. capital, people, commodities, information and production. Institutional effectiveness was examined by looking at how active the participation and collaboration of key stakeholders and frequency of monitoring. The research indicated that lack of specific policy on farm block development has been an impetus to inadequate implementation capacity of Luswishi farm block. The Luswishi farm block development, through agro-value chain, triggered availability of jobs outside agriculture to both the rural and the urbanites within the City-region. This implied that the resulting impacts in terms of rural-urban linkages between the farm block and City-region were beneficial despite small and medium scale farmers, having not been organised into an outgrower scheme. The research concludes that though linkages were beneficial in terms of job creation and generation of value chains, they skewed to the urban part of the „City-region‟. The development of the farm block mostly was dependent on foreign investment. Therefore the recommendation is to modify the current cluster model into concepts of Local Economic Development (LED) and Regional Network (RN) models in order to simultaneously empower the target groups and strengthen the linkages within the „City-region‟.
The University of Zambia
- Natural Sciences